KOPPI club adjusts to new leadership and plans for the future

Mara Bastin | Staff Writer

Keeping our public politically informed, more commonly known as KOPPI, had their first meeting this morning during STaR. With a new sponsor and a new team of executives, the change in leadership is expected to take the club in a different direction than the previous years two years.

“For a while, our club was sort of in limbo because Mr. Blackburn was leaving,” treasurer Graham Kanwit said. “Not only did we have to find a new teacher to sponsor us, we had to get used to an entirely new team of executives who had never been in charge

The KOPPI executives plan to use this shift in leadership to their advantage as they progress throughout the year.

“In previous years, KOPPI experienced some major stagnation–members became disinterested in coming to the meetings and KOPPI somewhat ceased to grow,” president Vinay Bhamidipati said. “As opposed to last year, KOPPI will hold more of its exciting discussions on current world and national politics and less of the sometimes exhausting speakers. However, club favorites such as Trey Hollingsworth and Liz Watson will no doubt make a return.”

Along with new changes to the focus of the club, the executive team has been working on implementing two new groups called the ‘Young Democrats’ and ‘Young Republicans’ that will focus on volunteering around the community within each member’s respective political party.

“There is a lot of things you can do outside of school that not a lot of people know about like interning at candidate offices, going to town hall assemblies, and other stuff that is pretty politically involved,” Young Democrats president Jackson Gardner said. “Our main focus with the new volunteering groups was to expose our members to these different activities and hopefully make changes within the Greenwood community.”

Although they have made a lot of new changes this year, KOPPI believes they will steer the club in the right direction, improve the club and make it more inviting to outsiders than they did in previous years.

The club meets every Friday in the Chrome lab during STaR. They are accepting new members throughout the year.

 

Greenwood Greener proposes climate resolution to city council

Aislinn Chavali | Staff Writer

In this day and age, climate change has become a big—and controversial—subject, as people debate about proper solutions and what actions to take, or whether there’s even something the people can do about it. But some students have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness of climate change and come up with some measures that the community can undertake.
Christian Omoruyi, a junior and founding member of Greener Greenwood, says that the group’s official mission statement focuses on the importance of preserving the environment.
“We’re youth working to make Greenwood, Indiana a greener city that continues to foster entrepreneurship while prioritizing sustainability,” Omoruyi said.
Greener Greenwood has also made connections with a larger environmentalist group in Indiana called Earth Charter through its president Jim Poyser, who has helped the members come up with a plan and get started.
Another member, senior Sam Bauer, is focused on the group’s long-term goals.
“The end goal for right now is to draft a climate resolution that we can present to the city council in hopes of getting it passed,” said Bauer. “We are trying to create a balance that would make the resolution both environmentally and economically-friendly, so it could realistically be implemented.”
A majority of the group, which was only started late last semester, is comprised of seniors, like Sam Bauer ‘18 and Phoebe Nguyen ‘18, who would at least like to see the resolution pass before they graduate and leave Greener Greenwood in the hands of the underclassmen.
“I joined this group because I want to live in a safe and healthy environment,” Nguyen said. “I have a moral duty to advocate for what I believe is a right to have a clean Earth.”
In all, even if the resolution doesn’t end up passing with the city council, Greener Greenwood will still feel like it has accomplished its goal.
“While it would be nice to have the resolution passed by the council, there will still be people out there who are aware of it and support it,” Bauer said. “These people might want to take up some of our points and spread the word. And that’s still an amazing accomplishment.”
Even if the resolution isn’t officially implemented, Greener Greenwood has made it easily accessible for every family or household to undertake these steps. Raising awareness for climate change is just as important as the resolution itself. With a promising start to the organization, the seniors are more than satisfied with what they have accomplished and are excited to see where it leads. Greener Greenwood has served as the stepping stone for advocating that Greenwood becomes a happier, healthier place.

Kneeling during the national anthem: To be or not to be

Controversy has sparked across America surrounding the issue of kneeling during the national anthem. Started by lone NFL football player Colin Kaepernick, the trend of kneeling during the national anthem has caused a revolution in the hearts of many Americans.

A survey from Fox News, an openly right-wing news program, has shown that 41 percent of voters think kneeling is an appropriate form of protest, rising from 32 percent in 2016, while 55 percent of voters disagree with kneeling, lowering from 61 percent in 2016.

Kneeling to the flag is not a sign of disrespect to our country, but it is a cry from those whose voices are not heard by our government, whose actions are regarded with negativity by the general population because of stereotypical accusations and whose personalities are judged based on their religion, sexuality or skin color before people even meet them.

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49’ers backup quarterback, sat and knelt during the anthem last year and has said he refuses to honor the anthem or take pride in a flag for a country that oppresses African Americans and other people of color.

President Donald Trump, whose views lie on the opposite side of the political spectrum, believes Kaepernick’s actions and those of other NFL players is a blatant sign of disrespect toward the flag and the country.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect to our Country, Flag, and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” President Trump tweeted on Monday, Sept. 25.

Groups of people like the NFL protesters, who use nonviolence to resist the outrageous opinions forged by those who have no right to make these allegations toward anyone of any race, religion, or sexuality, are under constant fire from the media for being different, and yet they are still expected to blindly follow a country which has not respected them.

“Wrong,” Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s “Late Show” said. “Kneeling during the national anthem has everything to do with race, just like [Trump’s] presidency. Those players are protesting racial injustice. They’re not protesting the American flag. Saying that kneeling is a protest against the flag is like saying Gandhi’s hunger strikes were a protest against snacking.”

NFL players are simply trying to use their platform to speak for those whose opinions don’t seem to matter in our country. Putting a hand over your heart and pledging allegiance is a personal choice, and it should not be swayed by anyone. Our government claims it was founded on the ideals of freedom, yet when one man [Kaepernick] speaks his mind he loses his career and faces backlash from millions of people.

Is this what our founding fathers had in mind when they created these rules many years ago? What happened to the amendments that said our rights of freedom in our country gave us the power to speak our minds and do whatever we feel necessary in the eyes of the law to defend our opinions?

Politicians, the media, and our peers are constantly pressuring us to judge others for no reason. Kneeling during the anthem is nothing more than a protest against the actions our country has inflicted on minorities. These nonviolent protestors are no different than Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela, yet somehow they are treated with hatred and hostility while King Jr. and Mandela are praised for their actions.

 

Kneeling to the flag opposing opinion story written by former senior Parker Ferguson.

https://centergrovepublications.com/2016/09/22/ferguson-v-kaepernick/

 

Women in Washington

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Pictures courtesy of Jackie Fowler and Maddie Weeks

On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, was sworn into office. As the Obamas stepped into the helicopter and flew off into the distance, some Americans expressed sorrow and were consumed with anxiety regarding the current president’s promotion of divisiveness and bigotry. However, the next day, millions of men and women across the nation came together for the 2017 Women’s March.

Several teachers travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the march. Many flew out and then rode crowded subways to be present at such a historic event.

“The whole day was just beautiful. All the different people coming together from 90-year-old women all the way to people bringing their children; and all colors and religions and beliefs were there, and that was beautiful,” art teacher Jackie Fowler said. “Everyone was so kind. You could strike up a conversation with anyone, like when we were riding the Metro in[to city].”  

Center Grove High School teacher, Jackie Fowler, and former Center Grove High School teacher, Amy Lapka, protest outside the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C.

Center Grove High School teacher, Jackie Fowler, and former Center Grove High School teacher, Amy Lapka, protest outside the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C.

Over 600 marches were organized across the nation, making the event the largest march in the country’s history. One of the numerous sister marches took place in Indianapolis and several students and teachers were in attendance.

“I have always had strong women in my life so I think it’s necessary to keep that going. If they’re socially disenfranchised, that’s a problem,” Jackson Simmons ‘18 said.

Many students and teachers have had a passion for women’s rights that has been embedded in them for quite a while. Even aside from marches and protests, the idea of gender equality have been incorporated into other elements of their lives.

“It was a lot of fun because everyone was super nice and loving and it was definitely crowded. There was a ton of people there but even when areas started to get more crowded, everyone was really kind and helpful to one another so it was really cool to be there,” art teacher Kadi Miller said. “I’ve been interested in women’s issues for a really long time and I make a lot of art about women’s issues so it’s something that I’m passionate about and I just wanted to support that.”

Women across the nation marched in support of a variety of issues including the wage gap, Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights, opposition to slut-shaming and victim-blaming, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, ending violence against women and many more issues.

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What was originally a women’s rights march turned into advocation for all minorities

“I didn’t go to the march just for women’s rights. It went from being just about women’s rights and then snowballed into bringing other things to the forefront, so I went just because I believe in some of the other initiatives that the women’s march was pushing for,” Fowler said. “I believe that we should treat the earth a little better and that we should be more responsible with that. I just believe in the rights of all people. We’re all the same, so that goes for immigration and LGBTQ+ issues.”

Women across the nation joined hands, chanted together, laughed together, cried together and protested peacefully together. As women joined hands and united as a community for the cause, many shared personal stories of inequality and injustice. Individuals were brought together through their countless experiences of prejudice and discrimination.

“I’ve reflected on what would cause me to want to go and endure the bus rides. I do have two younger daughters. My 8-year-old especially has heard Trump speak, and she’s concerned about this, and I wanted to show her that I could go and be a part of this for her,” Fowler said. “That’s one of the main reason I went; for my girls and for my students. As I was listening to a lot of speakers they all said don’t be afraid because he is one man and he can’t change everything on his own.”

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The March united women of all ages

With the recent events in American politics, civil liberties that are traditionally protected have been thrown into doubt as people become uncertain about the radical policy changes being proposed by the current administration.

“I think with him wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, that’s going to deny a lot of women basic health care that they rely on and need,” senior Cory Harden said. “I think that the ‘Good Morning America’ tapes that leaked with him in the bus has made it acceptable for women to be viewed as just sexual objects not actual people.”

Many protests like the Women’s March and the upcoming Science March are founded on the concerns of those who feel unrepresented by the current administration, including those who merely differ in opinion and those who couldn’t even vote. Despite being politically engaged, many young people feel their voices are going unheard

“The adults who are legally allowed to vote have decided our future for us. It is kind of terrifying, because that just leads to so many more problems we have

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One of the younger protestors proudly displays her sign at the Women’s march on Indianapolis

to fix,” Mia Mulinero ‘20 said.

Despite the political uncertainty, hope still remains alive in the heart of individuals. With protests, such as the Women’s March, the march against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Black Lives Matter marches, and many more, people are still given the opportunity to be politically active and freely voice their concerns. Although a portion of the people from Center Grove High School were not able to vote in the election, they were still able to make an impact on the political system.

“I do believe that our voice will eventually be heard especially because based on the people who can vote we still have around 3 million more people, like us, who weren’t able to vote in this election but can vote in the next election. They’ll be an overwhelming majority.” Harden said.

Regardless of political opinions and ideology, the march demonstrated that anyone could take a stand and voice concerns about the society that they live in. Even with several issues polarized into competing ideologies, a sense of community and harmony was present in these protests. It signified the power of all citizens to remain active and passionate when it comes to government and politics.

 

Trump is Triumphant?

By: John Richardson

Donald Trump is looking more and more like he will become the next President of the United States. He continues to be the unfiltered, unprecedented candidate and the GOP nominee that many Republican cannot stand. So what is his secret? Why does he continue to get votes and win states if some people can’t even say the name Donald Trump without throwing up a little?

Trump has many features of his campaign that have attracted voters for months and months of primaries and caucuses, one being the fact that he really isn’t a politician. He is more of an outsider in the world of politics. Trump is a businessman, and many voters believe that he could help turn the U.S. economy around. He has built multiple businesses into multimillion dollar companies.

Trump voters also believe in his truthfulness and his unfiltered, no-sugarcoating debate and interview style. He does not hold anything in and is more than willing to make sure that his beliefs are professed.

Donald Trump has multiple other reasons that he is in first place in the race to the White House, one of which would be that he takes on the media. The way he bashes them and completely ignores what they have to say about him is hilarious to watch. Not only does he not put up with them, he makes them squirm in their seats. The media is always trying to make people out to be worse than they are and find the fault in anything and everything. Even when the media does make him out to be an awful person, he shuts it down by coming back and making them feel really stupid about the things they say about not only him but other people as well. He also defends people that he likes that the media bashes on as well.

Lastly, Donald Trump is getting voters on his side by bringing energy to the race. He is a fresh, new and exciting candidate for voters to enjoy watching debate. He has made the race entertaining and fun to watch. Donald Trump basically let his opponents feed the fire by starting the topic of discussion and then he would make the topic interesting by adding his own twist and entertaining effect. His fellow candidates always found it annoying and unprofessional, yet that is just how he is running his race. People are obviously eating it up.

Primary Elections Today

 

It is an exciting year for high school seniors across the state of Indiana. They finally have become adults and will have their voices heard in today’s primary election.

“Wow. Time has flown by. It is crazy to think that we are already adults, and get to exercise our voting rights,” senior Conrad Bomber said.

It is an interesting year for the Indiana Primary because it is actually important this year. Projections have Donald Trump winning the Republican Primary with a shot to earn enough delegates to secure the Republican Nomination. He made Indiana a focal point and visited the state multiple times; various Center Grove students attended the Trump rally.

“I just think he will make America great again, and I think that he will be a great candidate,” senior Nathan Silva said. “He isn’t racist; it was just blown out of proportion.”

But Trump’s views are polarizing.

“I went to the Trump rally to protest, and it really got crazy. I just think he is an unfit leader who promotes an agenda of hate,” senior Blake Williamson said.  

The two other Republican candidates, Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, have teamed up to try to take the nomination from Trump.

“I think that it is a Hail Mary, but I think that it will be able to work,” senior Brian Hamilton said.

On the democratic side of the election, Bernie Sanders faces off against Hillary Clinton.

“I believe that Bernie is the only hope that America has. His free college plan, raising of minimum wage and support of LGBT rights is what is best for this country,” senior Maya Miller said.  

Sanders does not resonate with all students, though.

“I think that Bernie is just a little bit too extreme, and Bill Clinton was the man, so I think that I will be voting for Hillary” senior Dustyn Evans said.

Voting is what makes America great, and what the Founding Fathers fought for. And this year, voting in Indiana may be what determines the nominees for the next president.