Category Archives: VOICES

Authentic student voices of The Stampede’s writers and editorial staff

The Green Bible

by Jacqueline Wills ’10
Staff Writer

The book that is read every day by millions across the country has gone green! “The Green Bible” earned its title not only because of the fact that it is made from recycled materials but also because of the content it includes! This version of the Bible has a cotton/linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, as well as water-based coating, and has special essays by scholars and leaders that root down to the Bible’s relation to the Earth, specifically in Genesis. Also, this version of the Bible has over 1,000 verses highlighted in green that tie into Earth. There is also a foreword by Desmond Tutu that gives this bible a unique touch. On the inside cover there is a qoute, “The Green Bible will help you see that caring for the earth should not only be a calling but a lifestyle.”

EDITORIAL: Who’s Responsible for Healthy Choices?

Staff Editorial

This year when you go into the lunch line all you ever want is pizza, French fries and a soda, skip the salad, hold the dressing, and keep the extra change for the same lunch tomorrow. But do you jump into line thinking that you’re going to buy the most unhealthy, artery clogging, greasy food? Because it is also cheap and so delicious. You could possibly be thinking, “I would love to buy something healthy, but there are only two types of salad and they are way too expensive for me; I’ll just stick with the fries…”

It is our responsibility, if we are given options, to make smart choices. The healthy food shouldn’t be more expensive, and the fries should not be so much cheaper. It is the students’ responsibility because the cafeteria currently has a light system to display healthy choices. The bad foods have a red light while the healthier foods have green ones. Therefore, students are fully aware of what kind of food they are purchasing when they pick it up.

However, it is a communal effort. All the food should be priced reasonably priced, but it’s our responsibility to make the right choice and the school’s responsibility to provide a health conscious lunch provider. There are two types of salad in the cafeteria and yet many more unhealthy choices, you can have your pick of fries, ham or cheese burgers, maybe even a chicken sandwich or some pizza. Students are limited in their nutritional choices, and the unhealthy foods always seem to be more favorable, in terms of cost, taste and presentation. A lot of kids in America have this same problem because the choice is there but the decision is so hard to make. The cafeteria needs more choices not just pizza, French fries or a Caesar salad. Sure, it is our responsibility, but if we have no healthy options then what are we supposed to do? There are only two types of salad, garden or Caesar but there can be more choices like rice, baked chicken and vegetables. The school needs to provide us with the options so that we can make the choice to eat healthier. Students are never happy when options are limited. Last year, the cafeteria limited us to choosing fries only two times a week, but at least we were forced to eat healthier.

Of course, the salads are expensive because fresh vegetables will always be more expensive than grease soaked fries and a lot of this has to do with the state of the economy. In the cafeteria, you can buy a chicken sandwich, soda and fries or a Caesar salad. The healthier option? The salad, of course. The cheaper option? The unhealthier choice, no doubt, the chicken sandwich with fries plus a soda. It is more food and less money but a lot more calories, fat and definitely less healthier than the salad option.

In our cafeteria, the bad stuff looks better. You walk into the cafeteria; the pizza is glowing radiantly under a light while the healthier options sit on top looking a lot less appetizing. You even have to make a conscience effort to stop and look for those healthy little entrees. Do you want a healthy meal? How about just a few pieces from it, like just the chicken or the vegetables alone? Sorry, you can’t, try buying the whole meal because that’s your only option. Collectively, the staff thinks that Sage wants our money for those cost effective, unhealthy foods they provide, but the school really is concerned about our health which is why the administration changed to this company.

The biggest thing that the staff was concerned about was the options provided and the variety of the healthy foods given. What ever happened to the Paninis?! If a wider variety was given, then we would not be arguing about this in the first place. Ultimately, students need to take care of themselves; you cannot rely on someone to hold your hand and make the right decision for you. Grow up and make a decision. Bring your lunch, pay the extra few dollars for a salad, or even talk to administration about having some more healthy choices in the cafeteria. You could even opt to buy the unhealthiness, because health costs. Bottom line, it really is your choice and although the healthy options are limited, they are available, so make the best decision for yourself!

A Hole In the System – Piercings

Ann Czecha ’10
Feature Writer

Christine Stubbs 11' displays her piercings.
Christine Stubbs 11' displays her piercings.

Sitting in a cold chair, my mother to my right, holding her breath, awaiting what is about to happen nervously. As the gun is cleaned, loaded and raised closer and closer to my head, I count my heart beats and take three deep breaths. As the woman who looks like this may hurt her more than me raises the gun and says, “okay are you ready?” I have to quickly remind myself that this is something I wanted. One, two, three. she takes the piercing gun through my cartilage as a diamond stud is placed, and I feel the cold stud in my warm skin. I have joined the masses in a time old tradition of self expression.

There are numerous ways to express yourself without saying words. This epidemic has spread through all ages, countries and peoples. It may stand for tribal ranking, a memorable experience, or just something you thought was interesting. It is performed in many different ways and shapes; it is the art of piercing.

After taking a look around, it is noticeable that our Bishop McNamara society is not excluded from this expression of self through this trend. The McNamara administration is known throughout the student body for being strict on, what and how all students present themselves through clothing on a day to day basis. But the student body has found a hole in the system (pun intended). Most girls (and quite a few boys) have their ears pierced, sometimes multiple times. Each part of the ear has a different name, such as cartilage (the upper ear), the rook (which is the outer fold of the ear) or the daith (the inner fold of the ear).

From teachers to students alike, each piercing has its own unique story. Christine Stubbs ’11 has a total of six piercings and stands out with her loud personality and personal expression. Three of them she has done herself. Her piercings started with a first hole in her lower lobe, which is typical for many girls to get as babies. Christine has pierced her own naval and cartilage. “I used a safety pin, don’t do that!” she recommended. Christine is very happy with all of her piercings, and there is no doubt she plans on getting more. This seems to be a common theme, many people say it is like an addiction.

Every piercing has a story. After interviewing different students, it was evident that some times the piercing was not only an act of expression but an act of rebellion. Randi Ayala ’11 believes, “Piercings let you express yourself and make you look attractive.” In Nov. 2008, she had badly wanted to get her belly button pierced, but her mother strongly disagreed. Randi then had her boyfriend’s mother take her to Mystics in Crofton, and sign as her guardian to get the piercing done. Her mother made Randi remove the piercing, but Randi says she fully intends on getting it redone when she is 18.

Max Allegro ’10 is one of many boys who have taken to the ear piercing trend that has become popularized during our generation. “People seem to like it,” said Max. “I got it done last spring at a pharmacy in Spain with Allison Baden and Allie Baumgartner as my chaperons.” When Max returned home, his mother was not upset but was pleased to hear when Max confirmed that it was just a way to remember Spain, and that no other piercings are in his future.

Faculty members are no exception to the craze. Few know that even principal Marco Clark wanted his ear pierced at one time. “I was at beach week my senior week of high school in Ocean City. I sat down to get my ear pierced, and at the last minute, wimped out.” Mr. Clark wants students to know that body jewelery can be a good way of expression and may look cute when you’re young, but teenagers should think about their future image too and what marks the piercings may leave.

Kari Bergman, Spanish teacher, has her cartilage pierced as well. She said she got it during her mid twenty’s in her left ear. Ms. Bergman was in Paris, France with her cousin and a friend, both who planned on getting their noses pierced. After paying, one girl chickened out. Instead of wasting the money, Ms. Bergman decided why not! “I could hardly understand the man that was piercing me! I just kept saying left ear? Yes? Cartilage? Hoping he would know what I was talking about,” she said jokingly.

Teachers Gretchen Harrison, Jenny Klimzack and Matthew Buckley also revealed that they had (or have!) naval or ear lobe piercings, but there was one teacher that stood out the most. Angela De Leonibus, chemistry teacher, has a total of seven piercings covering both her ears. Ms. D started getting them when she was a baby and as she got older saw it as a way to express herself, “you could say I’m a rebel..not really…but really,” laughed Ms. DeLeonibus. Teacher Laura Keller would love to add a piercing to her nose, maybe even eyebrow. The main thing stopping her? “Are teachers here even allowed to do that?” As the rules here and in society get stricter, teenagers and adults alike are trying to find new and creative ways to express their beliefs and who they are under the uniform.

Comic: Bailout

Comic by Alex Vinci ’11, Staff Writer

Click for Full Size
Click for Full Size

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**Update Dec. 2009 — This comic won 1st Place for Editorial Cartoon in the Maryland-District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 2009 Individual Writing and Editing Contest Awards, Newspaper Division.

Just Do It?

Joshua Crockett ’10
Managing Editor

Today is the day! After multiple off-season workouts, nerve wrecking tryouts, and grueling first week of practice; it is finally time to get your uniform. Your eyes get big and your heart subtly skips a beat as you ponder what number will grace your person for the upcoming season. For returning players, a defensive posture is taken in order to protect what is rightfully theirs. Newcomers look on with optimistic hopes that decent options will be left for you to choose. Whichever person you are, the sense of excitement is heightened every three to four years when used uniforms are replaced with brand new apparel. But have you ever stopped and thought of where those new jerseys or your new shoes came from? Furthermore, have you thought of how much a worker was paid to make the t-shirts you practice in?

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Wooten High School senior Ethan Miller spoke at McNamara about the importance of worker’s rights awareness. With representatives from McNamara, Gonzaga and John Carroll high school in attendance, Miller broke down the true reality of overseas sweatshop workers. At the heart of his presentation was the present battle of many organizations like USAS (united students against sweatshops) who are against Russell athletics for their sweatshop practices in Honduras.

Many schools have terminated their contracts with Russell Athletics due to student lead pressure.  In tough economic climates, the loss of contracts from nationally respected institutions like Georgetown, Michigan, Harvard, Yale, UCLA, and Marquette, have made proposals for the improvement of worker’s rights over in Honduras vital. In an attempt to somewhat save face, they have invited representatives from some of these schools in order to show how they have already began making work for Russell athletics a more humane working environment.

Even though Nike presents a sense of quality and style, there is a dark and unjust side of the company that some consumers don’t know or even care to know. Consumers see their favorite million dollar athletes on television commercials and magazine covers with Nike apparel and wish to have the same athletic wardrobe. What they don’t know is Nike pays factory workers poverty wages for long and grueling hours. The exploitation of these workers seems quite selfish due to the vast amount of revenue gained from the finished product.sweatshop story

To be completely fair to these major companies, the employment offered overseas does provide occupation for many citizens in their respective countries. The problem is that they have cut the worker salary to an unlivable wage in order to attain maximum profit.

According to HOLA, a cut of less than 1% of Nike’s advertising budget could double wages for all workers making Nike apparel.

Honestly, as one of the world most famous apparel company they could easily afford to give up 1% of advertising to support those that make them billions of dollars a year.

Over the years, styles and even the company preferred among high school students constantly changes. McNamara teams of the past did not typically feature well known designers like the teams of today. In fact, McNamara Alumni and current Athletic Director, Mr. Anthony Johnson says, “There really wasn’t an outward showing of a brand. Most of the uniforms were generic brand. The most common brand names were Champion and Rawlings.”  For the most part, these brands have been out-shined by more innovative and revolutionary athletic apparel with companies like New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Converse, Nike, and Russell.

Mr. Johnson says, “As a fan, I like Nike’s style of clothing and gear. The quality of equipment speaks to the quality of the program.” Many athletes from around the school shared Mr. Johnson’s opinion and would prefer Nike apparel.  However, the school is not officially sponsored by the apparel powerhouse known by its trademark “swoosh”.  Teams like men’s and women’s lacrosse team wear uniforms made by Russell.

I am not saying in any way that supporting these athletic companies is immoral. However, as long as we continue to wear these overpriced products shouldn’t we make conscience efforts to think beyond the ‘label’?  If the label doesn’t change their stance, are we strong enough as a generation to discontinue supporting their product?

Would the school consider discontinuing wearing such apparel produced by these companies?

Principal Marco Clark says, “It is definitely possible. We all have responsibility to respect ethical practices. We will always attempt to make sound and just decisions.”

In honor of the stampede’s Going Green initiative, take some time to educate yourself on the subject more in depth. If you find it interesting, try to become actively involved in the fight for global worker’s rights. Who knows, when you are in line to purchase those new cleats you shouldn’t JUST DO IT!

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Wooten High School senior Ethan Miller spoke at McNamara about the importance of worker’s rights awareness. With representatives from McNamara, Gonzaga and John Carroll high school in attendance, Miller broke down the true reality of overseas sweatshop workers. At the heart of his presentation was the present battle of many organizations like USAS (united students against sweatshops) who are against Russell athletics for their sweatshop practices in Honduras.

Many schools have terminated their contracts with Russell Athletics due to student lead pressure.  In tough economic climates, the loss of contracts from nationally respected institutions like Georgetown, Michigan, Harvard, Yale, UCLA, and Marquette, have made proposals for the improvement of worker’s rights over in Honduras vital. In an attempt to somewhat save face, they have invited representatives from some of these schools in order to show how they have already began making work for Russell athletics a more humane working environment.

Even though Nike presents a sense of quality and style, there is a dark and unjust side of the company that some consumers don’t know or even care to know. Consumers see their favorite million dollar athletes on television commercials and magazine covers with Nike apparel and wish to have the same athletic wardrobe. What they don’t know is Nike pays factory workers poverty wages for long and grueling hours. The exploitation of these workers seems quite selfish due to the vast amount of revenue gained from the finished product.

To be completely fair to these major companies, the employment offered overseas does provide occupation for many citizens in their respective countries. The problem is that they have cut the worker salary to an unlivable wage in order to attain maximum profit.

According to HOLA, a cut of less than 1% of Nike’s advertising budget could double wages for all workers making Nike apparel.

Honestly, as one of the world most famous apparel company they could easily afford to give up 1% of advertising to support those that make them billions of dollars a year.

Over the years, styles and even the company preferred among high school students constantly changes. McNamara teams of the past did not typically feature well known designers like the teams of today. In fact, McNamara Alumni and current Athletic Director, Mr. Anthony Johnson says, “There really wasn’t an outward showing of a brand. Most of the uniforms were generic brand. The most common brand names were Champion and Rawlings.”  For the most part, these brands have been out-shined by more innovative and revolutionary athletic apparel with companies like New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Converse, Nike, and Russell.

Mr. Johnson says, “As a fan, I like Nike’s style of clothing and gear. The quality of equipment speaks to the quality of the program.” Many athletes from around the school shared Mr. Johnson’s opinion and would prefer Nike apparel.  However, the school is not officially sponsored by the apparel powerhouse known by its trademark “swoosh”.  Teams like men’s and women’s lacrosse team wear uniforms made by Russell.

I am not saying in any way that supporting these athletic companies is immoral. However, as long as we continue to wear these overpriced products shouldn’t we make conscience efforts to think beyond the ‘label’?  If the label doesn’t change their stance, are we strong enough as a generation to discontinue supporting their product?

Would the school consider discontinuing wearing such apparel produced by these companies?

Principal Marco Clark says, “It is definitely possible. We all have responsibility to respect ethical practices. We will always attempt to make sound and just decisions.”

In honor of the stampede’s Going Green initiative, take some time to educate yourself on the subject more in depth. If you find it interesting, try to become actively involved in the fight for global worker’s rights. Who knows, when you are in line to purchase those new cleats you shouldn’t JUST DO IT!