Chicago Women's March article
Less than a week before we planned on sending the issue to the printer, the Cub issue editors (journalism 1) students still had yet to come up with a front page news story. go. I took this as a great opportunity to work on my editing skills to not only help the writer of the story but to also improve my use of AP Style editing markings. My comments and copy edits are pictured below.
After numerous more rounds of editing, the final, published story was completed. Despite issues with second person (used in last paragraph) and a lack of sources with different viewpoints, the article improved greatly. The new article has a feature-style lede and a future-focused ending, as my early comments suggested. The editing process proved to be a great learning experience for the writer and myself. The published version of the story is below.
Trying to see actresses from Chicago’s “Hamilton” speaking on the main stage, junior Maddie Samuels props herself up on her friend’s shoulders. She doesn’t expect to be as shocked as she is by the size of the crowd all around her. Holding her “Nasty women fight back” sign high, Samuels is among millions of other women marching for their civil rights around the world.
“At that moment, I noticed all the people who surrounded me, and I didn’t realize how many people were in the city. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t even see the stage because there were that many people, and not just women, but men,” Samuels said.
On Jan. 21, the women’s march started with a rally in Grant Park. Plans included a march to Trump Tower; however, with over 250,000 people in attendance according to the Chicago Tribune, the rally had spread throughout the city and the march portion of the event was officially canceled.
“It was so positive. There were no arrests whatsoever. Everyone was so happy. It was definitely not us versus them, it was about ‘we are all together’ in the belief that women should have these rights. There was no hate. It was women, and men, and little kids all the way to 80-year-olds, all just advocating for the same issues,” Samuels said.
Many DGN community members participated in the march. All came together to advocate their beliefs and support for human and civil rights.
“I learned about the march at a Prism meeting, and the club believed that it was a positive thing for everyone to do as part of Prism, so Mrs. Graham, Ms. Tomek, and I put together some informational meetings about it for everyone, not just people in Prism,” senior Emily Grigg said.
Throughout the country and the world, large masses of people rallied in support of women’s rights. According to USA Today, over 2.6 million people participated in marches all across the world. Senior Eliza Graham traveled to Washington D.C. to march because she felt that she would be able to make her voice heard in such a political setting.
“I decided to go to D.C. not for an anti-trump cause, but because I'm worried about how the rights of many people will be affected by his presidency. I worry for my Muslims, immigrants, LGBT people and women in general. It was an amazing feeling to be around so many people that felt the same way,” Graham said.
According to the Women’s March on Washington website, the march’s goal was to advocate for honoring human rights, regardless of sex, citizenship, race, or sexual preference.
“As someone who tries to advocate for women’s rights, so I thought that attending the march would be a good way of people all voicing the same opinions in hopes of catching the attention of the new White House administration, not to provoke conflict, just to make our voices heard,” Samuels said.
A common misconception was that the march was in response to the new presidential administration, a protest with an anti-Trump sentiment.
The march was often thought to be an anti-Trump movement, however, ralliers felt that the march’s environment was quite opposite. Marchers felt enthusiastic vibes from people at the march, and no arrests were made in Chicago.
“What sparked my interest to go was to come together to show women’s unity, support for women, and not to let derogatory statements be made. Also to support different issues that were brought up in the political process. I did not go because it was any kind of ‘anti-Trump’ rally. It was very, very positive,” teacher Karen Spahr-Thomas said.
Samuels, who is involved in World Summit and Government Club at DGN and is very open about her political beliefs, has received backlash regarding her involvement in the march.
“I have had people say to me ‘Why are you fighting for this? It’s not going to get anything done.” But, in my mind, protesting and exercising your rights, that’s the thing that really does affect change. We have so many of these people who are against us who don’t realize the cause that this division between the left and the right, it’s trying to say ‘No matter who you are, if you’re a woman, there are certain rights that you deserve’. We can’t be the country we say we are without allowing citizens to have equal rights,” Samuels said.
If you have any concerns regarding the safety of yourself or your beliefs, please contact Illinois Senators, Tammy Duckworth or Dick Durbin. Calling your senators guarantee your voice being heard. Calling weighs more than emailing or social media post, even if you do not speak to your representative, messages will be passed through members.
Student Advisory Council article
Editing this article, I thoroughly enjoyed assisting the author to find the best way to channel his voice for the article. Below is the edited first draft of the article and the published product.
At first glance, the Student Advisory Council is an excellent idea: a forum of 22 student representatives publicizing their ideas and discontent to administration. In theory, it is an excellent idea. However, in practice, the Student Advisory Council currently is wrought with issues.
For one, all teachers asked to recommend students were not required to do so. Students who would have made excellent representatives were left out of consideration. There should have been an application process for eligible students interested in the council to apply and be fairly selected, bringing new ideas and criticisms to the attention of administration.
Student Advisory Council members are not required to attend meetings. “We hope that they will,” Principal Janice Schwarze said. This is another concerning issue. We can’t expect any representative change if council members are not required or able to sacrifice their time for the council meetings. This leads me to question the interest of each member.
Do the student representatives selected even want to be on the council? A seat of an unengaged member will be wasted whereas it could be taken by a student who applied based on their genuine interest.
Above all, who are the council members? The Student Advisory council was established in December and, I argue, there exists a lack of transparency in a council created by the administration to represent students. Public lack of information about the council given to the student body is concerning.
Schwarze will meet with the council on Feb. 15 to speak directly about the transparency issue and aims to later publicize the members on the school website. Despite this, why has it taken this long for it to be public to all students? Posting an image of the council members appears to be just a quick response by the administration to address the growing concerns among students.
Having met twice and accomplished placing motivational notes on the school lockers, typically a job reserved for Student Council and North Stars. The point of an Advisory Council is to make positive changes to the school that the administration may not be aware of.
An Advisory Council made up of students is a great idea and poses a real possibility to change things however; the implementation thus far would suggest otherwise. If the Student Advisory Council were to survive this year, my hope is they begin to look at how DGN can attend to the stressful climate our current education creates. If the Council is said to represent all voices, I sincerely hope they hear mine.