Take a good look around, VSAA: this will be our last issue on our current web site. We would like to thank our good friends at Webs.com for all the fruitless hours Miles spent tearing out his hairs, wondering why images wouldn’t load properly, pleading with the Internet Gods for matching fonts. They were unmerciful.
We can now be reached at http://vsaapaper.com, hosted by the very fine wordpress.com. Dakota Wixom deserves a huge round of e-pplause for all his hard work in the last few months. Our exodus wouldn’t have happened without him.
See you on the other side, VSAA!
By Miles Hewitt, 4 February 2013
Fear not, for we have heard your lost, anguished voices calling out in the darkness. You have been calling for us, VSAA. You have been chanting our name, always searching, screaming the ancestral cry:
"Where are you, Vita Brevis?"
Well, VSAA, we must apologize. We've been doggedly pursuing our second-semester goal: a new web site, glorious in countenance, angelic in facade, empyrean in glory.
But we've hit some roadblocks along the way. Forms need to be filled; challenges met; villains vanquished. Soon we will be traversing the gaping gap between here and there.
For now, hang tight. Next issue will be up next week and I can't wait for you to read it. In the meantime, here is a picture of our music columnist, Jackson McMurray. It's one of my favorite photos ever taken and I hope it brings you exultation and relief in this trying time.
By Mitchell Kaiser, 17 January 2012
In light of recent events, schools around the country have deemed it necessary to take extra precautions in order to ensure the safety of their students. Throughout Vancouver Public Schools, additional security personnel have been added to schools. Now each middle and high school, including our own, has security staff.
When VSAA was first established as a school, we had a security guard who was a member of the community just like any other staff member. As the years progressed, budget cuts meant that there was no longer enough money for the school to employ a security guard. The position was eliminated and for many years VSAA was without security staff. Over the years, many of the staff felt that in order to keep students safe it was necessary to bring back a security guard. Since early in his tenure, Mr. O’Banion has been pushing for the district to garrison VSAA with a security guard. The safety of the school was never in question, but the VSAA’s unique geographical location downtown means that it is possible for strangers to wander on campus. The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy brought the attention of the district to this issue.
Due to the job posting and interview process, we saw temporary security staff members at the school before the posting of our permanent officer. Yesterday was the first day for our new permanent security guard, Sheila Hayes. It is not unusual for a school to have a security guard (it is in fact unusual not to have one), and it is important to remember that she is here for our safety. Sheila will work at the school at least until the end of the year, though our administration hopes that a security guard will become a permanent fixture at VSAA.
The top priority of a security officer is the safety and learning of the students. Sheila will be patrolling the exterior of the building during the day to ensure no one is on campus that shouldn’t be, checking off-campus passes during lunch to ensure only students with a pass leave, investigate any theft, follow up with students on attendance issues, and be the first person to go to for bullying or any similar issue.
Remember that Sheila is simply another addition to the adults in the VSAA family. Like any other staff or faculty member, she is at the school to help and support students. Don’t be afraid to greet her or talk to her in the halls. Let’s show our new addition to the family the loving and accepting community we are!
By Justine Hanrahan
This month, administrators introduced Safety Buckets to VSAA. Many other schools in the area have similar precautions in place. In case of an emergency that leaves students trapped inside of classrooms, students will have access to basic safety items and nonperishable food.
What was introduced as an artistic competition to create aesthetically pleasing basic survival buckets has received mixed reviews from students. Some students welcome the buckets, acknowledging that precautions like these can only be beneficial. Others find it silly and don’t see the point in putting time into it.
Keegan McMurry, a senior, thinks that the Safety Buckets are important. “It’s always good to be prepared for those things. It’s like the umbrella effect--it doesn’t rain unless you forgot your umbrella.” McMurry added, “What if you were stuck in a room because of an earthquake? That could happen.”
In some advocacies, Safety Buckets are taken more light-heartedly. Brianna McMillan, a sixth grader, said that the buckets themselves are “very useful, but we’re bringing useless stuff.” Other students express that the buckets don’t hold enough items to make for a useful survival kit.
Tyler Cawthon gave her opinion on the Safety Buckets: “It should be required to bring in items for the whole class. We should have an emergency dumpster; that way we can have more items and help more people!”
Skepticism aside, with Safety Buckets in classrooms around the school, we will be better prepared to handle emergency situations.
By B.C. Caldwell, 17 January 2013
Drumroll please… the world is still here. Apparently. I will uphold the time-honored code of journalistic… honor, and take a glance out the window. Uh, yep. Still there. Trees, rocks, nasty little buzzing things calling themselves bugs. It’s all still there. So I would like to go on the record here, once and for all and solemnly say before the gathered witnesses of my peers, betters, school, God, and country— HA, STEPHEN HA!
Mr. Kellar, I claim eternal and everlasting victory, and condemn you to forever relinquish your silver-tipped-pen of lies, acknowledge the inherent superiority of my infallible rhetoric, and wear the fuzzy socks of shame for exactly 51 days. What’s more, I would like a public statement issued in this very same newspaper for all our audience to—
Wait. I have just received word—
I’m… I’m being shown a video… I have just received evidence of the existence of the “Honey-Boo-Boo.”
The world should have ended. If only the world had ended. That’s it, the end of the line. There is NO HOPE LEFT for humanity. Stephen, you were so right. You were so right. Please hit me with a meteor, a tidal wave, a supervolcano—anything, teach the roombas how to work stairs or something. Anything to spare us from the reign of this little, blonde, screaming horror. And her addictive reality show.