The Stuyvesant Spectator Opinions Department

The Stuyvesant Spectator Opinions Department The Spectator, as “The Pulse of the Student Body,” is a forum for student expression. We are the voice of the pulse; we are its Opinions Section.

The paper was founded in 1915 and is the official Stuyvesant High School newspaper. It is a bi-weekly publication that is run completely by Stuyvesant students. It is independent of any other organization, such as the Student Union or school administration. It receives no funding and is uncensored. All printing is paid for by subscriptions and advertisements. It is accessible to all parties and is available at no cost. The Spectator, most importantly, is an open forum for the Stuyvesant High School community. We report on issues that affect our school and aim to do so with the best of our ability, while maintaining the highest levels of journalistic integrity and excellence. We welcome and encourage Letters to the Editor, which can be sent to [email protected] or be put in our mailbox in the mail room on the second floor. And we're the Opinions section of it! It is our responsibility and privilege to provide a forum for Stuyvesant students, alumni and teachers to express their thoughts and opinions. We welcome Letters to the Editor and any proposals that readers of the Spectator might have. Simply message the page or contact one of the three editors to get in touch. Any and all input is encouraged (including critique)! Editors: Daniel Kodsi: [email protected] Emma Bernstein: [email protected] Justin Weltz: [email protected] If you would like to join our staff let us know by contacting our three editors.

Operating as usual

03/03/2020

What is the path forward for the Democratic Party: hardline progressivism or moderate liberalism? In this web-exclusive piece, senior and former Spectator Editor-in-Chief Artem Ilyanok makes the case for the latter, arguing that Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wing of the party favor an agenda that is equal parts unpopular and wrong on the merits.

What do you think? Read the article, then vote in our poll:

https://stuyspec.com/opinions/want-to-make-progress-stop-being-progressive

The Spectator's Opinions Department is extremely excited to announce its new editor: joining me for 2020 is my fellow ju...
01/18/2020

The Spectator's Opinions Department is extremely excited to announce its new editor: joining me for 2020 is my fellow junior Kristin Cheng.

Longtime readers of the Department will remember Kristin's beautiful, personally-tinged pieces on topics from racial politics and history to systemic sexism to her own Stuyvesant experience. The Opinions Department has been privileged to have her as a writer, and is privileged now to have her as an editor.

Welcome aboard, Kristin.

It's that time of year, when it becomes time to say farewell to the old Spectator Board and greet the new one. It is bit...
01/18/2020

It's that time of year, when it becomes time to say farewell to the old Spectator Board and greet the new one. It is bittersweetly that the Spectator's Opinions Department bids a final goodbye to its senior Editor, Michael Dekhtyar (pictured here in the fall of his junior year).

While at the Opinions Department's helm, Michael and I have begun a department-wide transition to more personal content, inspired by the Harvard Crimson's Opinions section; it has been a success. He has a keen eye for successful pasteups; his editing is superb; and as a partner, he is ideal and generous, both with letting me edit articles I wish to and taking on burdens that I cannot.

The Opinions Department looks forward to a bright future under a new editor, but we are sorry to lose Michael, and wish him the best of luck in the second term of his senior year, during the summer, and beyond.

May the road rise to meet you, Michael, and the wind be always at your back.

"My repeated failures in 10th grade taught me values that I couldn’t have learned if I got an 'easy 99,'" writes junior ...
10/28/2019
What Failure Teaches You that Success Can’t

"My repeated failures in 10th grade taught me values that I couldn’t have learned if I got an 'easy 99,'" writes junior Opinions writer Claire Shin.

My repeated failures in 10th grade taught me values that I couldn’t have learned if I got an 'easy 99.'

09/02/2019

Fun (and little-known) fact: you can submit letters to the editor to [email protected]. So if you've got feelings on anything at Stuy (at the moment, Talos comes to mind) or want to respond to an Ops article, send in a letter!

They don't need to be long--indeed, short is better--so if your thoughts amount to a few sentences, that's fine. To send in a letter, email [email protected] from your Stuyvesant email address with the subject line "Letter to the Editor."

Sending in a letter does not guarantee publication, and we also may edit your letter for length, clarity, grammar, and style, though of course we'll send you the final version of your letter before printing it.

The Spectator, as our motto suggests, is the pulse of the student body. The Opinions section gives a voice to that body's opinions, and that includes students who do not officially work for the department.

In the latest issue of the Spectator, sophomore Claire Shin asks: how is it that Asians, who comprise the smallest ethni...
05/13/2019
Affirmative Action and the Myth of Self-Acceptance

In the latest issue of the Spectator, sophomore Claire Shin asks: how is it that Asians, who comprise the smallest ethnic group in America, are deserted by colleges looking to increase on-campus diversity?

Affirmative action as it stands today is an ineffective way of balancing merit and diversity, and considering class is a far superior tactic.

"It is of utmost importance now that as students, we stand by and advocate for the rights of the afflicted one in four g...
02/17/2019
The Stuyvesant Spectator

"It is of utmost importance now that as students, we stand by and advocate for the rights of the afflicted one in four girls and one in six boys with whom we share classes. We’re obligated to make our voices heard so that theirs can be too," writes Kristin Cheng in "Betsy DeVos’s Proposed Campus Sexual Harassment Guidelines Would Protect the Wrong Victims."

The Stuyvesant Spectator is a newspaper published by Stuyvesant High School students every two weeks. It contains sections such as news, features, opinions, arts & entertainment, humor, sports, photography, art, layout, copy, business, and web. With such a wide range of topics, readers would never r...

Nationwide ranked-choice voting could cure two-party suffocation and boost broadly appealing candidates, argues sophomor...
01/31/2019
The Stuyvesant Spectator

Nationwide ranked-choice voting could cure two-party suffocation and boost broadly appealing candidates, argues sophomore Julian Giordano.

The Stuyvesant Spectator is a newspaper published by Stuyvesant High School students every two weeks. It contains sections such as news, features, opinions, arts & entertainment, humor, sports, photography, art, layout, copy, business, and web. With such a wide range of topics, readers would never r...

The Opinions department is saying a bittersweet goodbye to editor Artem Ilyanok. He’ll be serving The Spectator as the E...
01/27/2019

The Opinions department is saying a bittersweet goodbye to editor Artem Ilyanok. He’ll be serving The Spectator as the Editor-in-Chief in 2019. His dedication to the department — as well as his 2,000 word articles — will be sorely missed. It’s been a pleasure to work with him, and we are so excited to see what he accomplishes as EIC.

"The reality is Christmas no longer denotes a religious celebration, but instead, an overtly secular one. Its commercial...
01/16/2019
The Stuyvesant Spectator

"The reality is Christmas no longer denotes a religious celebration, but instead, an overtly secular one. Its commercialization has established it as a national holiday," writes junior Mia Gindis.

The Stuyvesant Spectator is a newspaper published by Stuyvesant High School students every two weeks. It contains sections such as news, features, opinions, arts & entertainment, humor, sports, photography, art, layout, copy, business, and web. With such a wide range of topics, readers would never r...

"Reddit must ban, or at the very least quarantine, The_Donald," a subreddit devoted to Donald Trump, writes freshman Jac...
01/16/2019
The Stuyvesant Spectator

"Reddit must ban, or at the very least quarantine, The_Donald," a subreddit devoted to Donald Trump, writes freshman Jacob Steinberg in his first article for the section.

The Stuyvesant Spectator is a newspaper published by Stuyvesant High School students every two weeks. It contains sections such as news, features, opinions, arts & entertainment, humor, sports, photography, art, layout, copy, business, and web. With such a wide range of topics, readers would never r...

China's Belt and Road initiative is the "sort of “debt-trap” diplomacy that only damages the fragile international econo...
01/16/2019

China's Belt and Road initiative is the "sort of “debt-trap” diplomacy that only damages the fragile international economic order still in recovery from the shock of the 2008 crisis.... The world must act against the Belt and Road Initiative and all it represents. As is often the case, the cost of action is great, but the consequence of inaction is greater," writes junior and incoming editor Michael Dekhtyar.
https://stuyspec.com/opinions/one-belt-one-road-one-winner

"B​y excusing ourselves from our obligation to help, we distance ourselves from the reality of homelessness. We lose our...
01/16/2019

"B​y excusing ourselves from our obligation to help, we distance ourselves from the reality of homelessness. We lose our sympathy in order to ignore the reality of the homeless ordeal, where there are no choices of help available," writes sophomore Jenny Huang.

https://stuyspec.com/opinions/lose-your-apathy-towards-the-homeless

01/16/2019

Tonight, Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior Senator from our very own New York, announced the creation of a 2020 Presidential exploratory committee, effectively launching a campaign. She got a lot of both heat and support for playing a leading role in pushing Al Franken out of the Senate over alleged sexual misconduct and a photo of Franken placing his hands on a sleeping woman's breasts.

She's also received criticism for her fairly conservative past; per statistics news site FiveThirtyEight, hers is the least Trump-friendly voting record in the Senate, but she once had an "A" rating from the NRA and supported blocking funding for sanctuary cities.

Her defenders, however, point to her ability to court rural voters. Before she was a senator, she was a Congresswoman from an upstate district, and she got a higher vote share in New York in the 2018 midterms than Andrew Cuomo in the 2018 gubernatorial race and Hillary Clinton in 2016, in part because of greater support from Upstate New York.

What do you think? If you're a Democrat, how do you feel about Senator Gillibrand's campaign? We know how limiting Facebook's two-option polls are, so tell us more in the comments!

01/05/2019

It's that time of year again: the Opinions department will be welcoming two new editors, as well as saying goodbye to our two former editors. Stay tuned for an announcement of the next editors (and some melodramatic goodbye posts, too)!

With thanks to Matthew Carlson for the design.
12/29/2018

With thanks to Matthew Carlson for the design.

With thanks to Matthew Carlson for design.
12/29/2018

With thanks to Matthew Carlson for design.

05/26/2018

Opinions writer Mia Gindis writes that by mandating only STEM-based classes, the Stuyvesant administration underestimates the value of the humanities in education.

https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/hey-humanities-are-here-too

Are the required STEM classes (like drafting and introCS) at Stuyvesant necessary? Do they stifle humanities students? And do humanities students have a place at a STEM school like Stuyvesant? Let us know in the poll and in the comments!

04/14/2018

BREAKING: Trump ordered missile strikes over Syria this afternoon.

The Opinions department wants to hear your thoughts! Was this an effective foreign policy move, and what will its consequences be?

The Spectator Opinions application has been released! The application is due Friday, April 13 at 10pm to opinions@stuysp...
04/02/2018
Spectator Opinions Writer Application 2018

The Spectator Opinions application has been released! The application is due Friday, April 13 at 10pm to [email protected]. We hope you enjoy filling it out and we are so excited to welcome new members to the Opinions family!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HJicqJ6RGqiZp6nMU3CM3ltB7wGjmgS5t9JN9o-Txms

Spectator Opinions Department Writer Application, Spring 2018 Due Friday, April 13 at 10:00 pm to [email protected] This is the application for The Spectator Opinions Department! Each semester, we receive many applications, and the process is relatively competitive. Please make sure you put ...

03/31/2018

In light of Poland's recent restrictions on the phrase "polish death camps" and any claim that implies Poland was co-responsible for Nazi war crimes, Opinions writer Julian Giordano discusses why compromising free speech is so dangerous to democracy.

https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/poland-s-curb-on-holocaust-speech

Is it ever acceptable for democratic governments to compromise free speech?

Last call to sign up to receive the Spectator Opinions application! We will be sending out the application tonight.
03/26/2018
Spectator Opinions Recruitment 2018

Last call to sign up to receive the Spectator Opinions application! We will be sending out the application tonight.

Fill this out and we will send you the application shortly!

03/25/2018

For those of you who couldn't make it to recruitments this week, the Opinions department will be holding recruitments in the library after tenth period on Monday, March 26! Come to learn more about the Opinions department!

02/19/2018

Oprah Winfrey, the famous talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, delivered a speech at the Golden Globes that led many to believe she was interested in running for president. In this point-counterpoint, Opinions editor Eliza Spinna and writer Angela Wong debate an Oprah presidency, what it would mean for American democracy, and if she would be equipped for the White House.

Oprah should run! https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/winfrey-for-the-win

Oprah should not run! https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/the-case-for-a-little-less-glamor-and-a-little-more-policy

Let us know in the comments what you think! Should Oprah run for president?

01/28/2018

Yesterday, the New York Post published an article detailing the persistent problem of cheating at Stuyvesant High School. Many outraged students have responded, believing that this article was just a way for the NYPost to attract readership because Stuyvesant is a big name and has had cheating scandals that garnered press coverage before. Other students have expressed outrage that the cheating issue has been covered so many times, and the Post should focus on more important and pressing issues such as the high number of attempted suicides at Stuyvesant and other elite high schools.

However, other students have argued that we should treat this article as a way to generate conversation within our community at Stuyvesant about how we're going to fix our cheating issue. Students and Opinions writers have suggested less finger-pointing from the administration when cheating scandals do come out, more non-multiple choice exams, better enforcement of the homework policy, or more intense proctoring.

The Opinions Department would like to hear from you! Does the Post have good intentions? Does it matter their intentions? Is it justified for the NYP to describe Stuyvesant as a "disgraced school?" Is the current student reaction justified? Is cheating still an issue at Stuyvesant, and if so, how do we fix it? Let us know in the comments, and we may publish some of your responses in an upcoming issue.

https://nypost.com/2018/01/27/cheating-still-rampant-at-disgraced-stuyvesant-school/

Is it justified for the NY Post to describe Stuyvesant as a "disgraced school?"

01/26/2018

The academic pressures inherent to Stuy push students to search for ways to get as high a grade as possible. From studying ever-harder, to academic dishonesty, to "kissing up" to teachers, Stuy students often resort to any means necessary in order to get the high grades they crave. In this spread, Opinions writers and Stuyvesant teachers including Mr. Ferencz, Mr. Grossman, Mr. Sandler, Ms. Stuzin, Ms. Sheinman, Mr. Nieves, Ms. Lindenmulder, Ms. Garber, and Ms. Tu give their say about whether or not students "kissing up" to teachers is an issue at Stuy.

Article: https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/what-s-on-your-nose
We want to hear from you!
Is "kissing up" an issue at Stuy?

It all started with Harvey Weinstein. When the Hollywood producer was accused of sexual harassment, people stood up and ...
01/12/2018

It all started with Harvey Weinstein. When the Hollywood producer was accused of sexual harassment, people stood up and took notice. A few days later, actress Alyssa Milano asked victims of sexual harassment or assault to reply "me too" to her tweet. Millions of people began telling previously unheard stories about their experiences with sexual impropriety.The #MeToo movement quickly became a global phenomenon, appearing in more than 12 million Facebook posts after the first 24 hours. The movement represents an enormous shift in societal attitudes towards sexual assault and its victims.
In this point-counterpoint, writers Mia Gindis and Maia Brydon discuss the political implications of the #MeToo movement, and whether the Democratic party is qualified to be its standard-bearer.
Mia's article:
https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/democrats-and-women-making-the-same-mistake
Maia's article: https://www.stuyspec.com/opinions/the-democratic-party-is-the-women-s-party

The Spectator Opinions Department is heartbroken to say goodbye to Editor Jane Rhee in a few weeks, who will be leading ...
01/02/2018

The Spectator Opinions Department is heartbroken to say goodbye to Editor Jane Rhee in a few weeks, who will be leading The Spectator as the Editor-in-Chief for the next year.

Known to many as the Queen of Stuyvesant, Jane is the best at just about everything, from ritualized sword fighting to creating clearer biology lessons than most teachers. She may not know what ontology is (who does? not me!), but she composed half of the cutest and coolest Opinions board The Spectator has ever seen, the Spinee board (formerly called the Rheeliza board, which was changed because the name Spinee cracked both editors up).

Known to our writers as the Luther to the Opinions Catholic Church, and the Gandhi to the Opinions British Empire, Jane has the rare ability to deal with sassy writers, which will be thoroughly missed when she leaves the department.

It’s been a pleasure working with her and the Opinions department will certainly miss her next semester.

xx, the incoming Lizart board

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The Spectator, monikered the “The Pulse of the Student Body,” is a forum for student expression. The paper was founded in 1915 and is the official newspaper of Stuyvesant High School. It is a bi-weekly publication that is run completely by Stuyvesant students. It is independent of any other organization, including the Student Union and the school administration. It receives no funding and is uncensored. All printing is paid for by subscriptions and advertisements. It is accessible to all, and it is free.

The Spectator, most importantly, is an open forum for the Stuyvesant High School community. We report on issues that affect our school and aim to do so with the best of our ability, while maintaining the highest levels of journalistic integrity and excellence.

And we're its Opinions sectiont! It is our responsibility and privilege to provide a forum for Stuyvesant students, alumni, and teachers to express their thoughts and opinions on school, politics, world issues, and whatever else might be bothering them. We welcome letters to the Editor and any proposals that readers of the Spectator might have. Simply message the page or contact one of the two editors to get in touch. Any and all input is encouraged (including critique)!

We welcome and encourage Letters to the Editor, which can be sent to [email protected] or be put in our mailbox in the mail room on the second floor. Editors: Michael Dekhtyar, [email protected] Jonathan Schneiderman, [email protected]

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