Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Re: “Trump’s Executive Orders” by Ayush Patel (25.5)

Trump’s immigration ban from a couple months ago was heartbreaking. Besides that, not much can be said. I’d never felt so betrayed by the country that I have lived for all my life and came to love.

The worst thing was that I didn’t know if my grandma, who I call Mama Z, could come see me the week after the order was implemented. I remember that my entire family was frantically calling the U.S. embassy and San Francisco Airport to see if my grandma could enter the U.S with a visa plus her dual Belgium and Iranian citizenship.

The first few days were miserable with no clear answer, only “I don’t know” from all the government departments we called. My mom was heartbroken from the fact that she might not see her mother after five long years of separation.

It wasn’t until a day before Mama Z’s expected arrival to the U.S. that my family finally heard the long anticipated news that she could legally enter the U.S.

For this reason, I am truly sincerely grateful to those who spent hours protesting this order and to the selfless lawyers that voluntarily protected the immigrants entering the U.S. who were discriminated against due to their ethnicity. – Armin Aghmamohammadi (12)


To the Editor:

Re: “Test Banks: Study tool or blatant cheating” by Ayush Patel and Subaita Rahman (25.6):

The harms of cheating are drilled into students from the beginning of their schooling: cheating is ethically wrong and if you are caught, it will lead to a zero, calls to your parents, and a mark on your record.

But I’ll add one more harm: cheating on exams means cheating yourself of the opportunity to accurately assess your understanding of the material. After all, the score you receive would be distorted by whatever boost you accessed beforehand.

I believe the fear of discovering their own knowledge or their fear of honestly talking to teachers about their learning is the real reason students cheat, and why they choose cheating over ethics.

Rather than prepare earlier or ask for help in class or during office hours, they decide to take shortcuts – ask previous classes for previews of the exam, search for test banks online, collaborate on answers with peers and memorize those answers. If the test can be found online, then why not? If people are openly discussing answers, what’s the harm?

But that fear of seeing yourself clearly, not taking steps to learn what you do not know, and the dismissal of academic ethics is a deep-seated problem, one that will follow you throughout your life and will have a wide-scale societal impact.

If you’ve cheated before or plan to cheat, analyze the situation carefully – why did you choose to cheat? What are alternatives? What’s the end-goal of cheating – to get good grades in order to be admitted to a good college or profession? What happens when you’ve cheated your way to your goal and realize you do not really know what you can do, how to learn, and who you are?

-Anonymous Teacher at Irvington


To the Editor:

Re “A Forum of Possibilities, Not Realities” by William Yoo (25.2):

Back in October, ASB hosted its first public forum. We aimed to create a platform to communicate with the student body by opening the floor to discussion, questions, concerns, new ideas, and opinions, shifting away from our previous practice of just holding informational meetings

While it was clear to ASB that the purpose of our forums has changed, that shift in focus was not effectively communicated to the rest of the student body.

Our forums have been referred to as “ineffective in structure and presentation” and “an excuse to deflect questioning and concerns,” and I too see certain issues with the way our Viking Forums are currently run.

Intentions behind the forums are good, but the main issues that we face in regards to these forums are 1) widespread student apathy 2) ineffective outreach to boost attendance, and 3) no set structure for facilitating effective discussions with students.

There is awareness both within and outside of ASB of these issues, but now there is a need to move from awareness to action to address the concerns voiced by the students.

Moving forward into the upcoming school year, the new ASB administration aims to build upon the groundwork of public forums and general public outreach set this year – we will restructure internal job operations and work to create clear communication between ASB and the rest of the Irvington community.

For the upcoming school year, we plan to encourage dialogue during each public forum, recognizing that these forums are not spaces for ASB to share views and updates, but instead a place for discussion. We look forward to continued improvement, evolvement, and increased effectiveness of our Viking Forums over the next year and the many years to come.

Jasmine Tong-Seeley (11)