the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Hudson Stedman ’21
For true Westminster News fans, you may remember a satirical article I did towards the end of my Fourth Form year documenting the unprecedented cases of senioritis in the notorious ‘Senior’ or ‘Sixth Form Spring.’ But I am afraid to report just two years later, the same epidemic I so fearfully yet ambitiously admired from the naive eyes of a sophomore has infected yours truly. I know. I watched and wrote and joked in horror as I witnessed Justin Schuster ‘19 reply ‘SEX ROBOTS’ to a community news email, or Alex Wolf ‘19 skip her Art History AP exam in a last-minute decision to enjoy the vibes and sunshine of a beautiful May afternoon. But having reached the end of an unprecedented Sixth Form year navigating the everlasting upwards stream of a global pandemic, I seem to have dodged a COVID-19 infection only to come down with the horrendous symptoms of senioritis.
By Allen Zhou ’23
On Feb. 3, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice notified the U.S. District Court in Connecticut that it would drop the case filed by the Trump administration against Yale University, which alleged that the institution was illegally discriminating against Asian-Americans and white applicants. Another similar case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University, was adjudicated by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Harvard, and now the case is heading toward the Supreme Court. Both of these cases have been closely observed and debated by Asian-American students and parents across the country. Front and center of the allegations is the question of whether using a set of subjective criteria to achieve desired diversity goals constitutes racial discrimination. Admittedly, the moral choice between Affirmative Action and "Race Blind Policy" forced upon us by the supporters of these cases has significant consequences to our higher education system. However, I caution my fellow Asian-American citizens not to be distracted by this dilemma while ignoring the real culprit of the current biased system.
By Sung Min Cho ’22
The Westminster Boys’ and Girls’ track team has been hard at work this spring. Of course, the 2021 spring season is the first time in two years that the group has had a chance to gather together.
By Keegan Bankoff ’22 and Ben Mihailovich ’22
Two weeks after an insurrection struck the Capitol, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Former President Trump’s remarks on how the election was ‘stolen’ from him left the country deeply divided, and many believed Biden would be unable to overcome that division. However, through one hundred days, Biden has overseen many successes, particularly regarding the pandemic, helping pass measures to support those hit hardest by COVID-19. Though his first hundred days have been eventful, this is no ‘New Deal’; Biden has not achieved the frenzied pace of FDR’s first hundred days in office, nor passed as much legislation. Nevertheless, Biden is surely off to a strong start.
By Grace Yuan ’23
Two decades ago, the United States military began to implement strikes against terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The attacks were aimed at rooting out al Qaeda, a terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden. According to Jenkins (2021), the attacks – a part of the US government’s international military campaign in Afghanistan – are a response to the al Qaeda attack on the United States in 2001. However, after two decades, the current U.S. president, Joe Biden, has resolved to withdraw all American military troops from Afghanistan following a negotiation between the previous administration and the Taliban government. During the negotiations, the Taliban government had promised to undertake attacks on the U.S. if they failed to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. Despite the heavy losses the ongoing war has imposed on both the U.S. and Afghanistan, some officials have expressed opposition to President Biden’s decision to withdraw the troops.
By Heather Zhu ’23
China has reported an 18.3% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2021 in comparison to the same period last year. This is not only the highest annual economic growth recorded since China started keeping records nearly 30 years ago, but also far beyond the Chinese government’s goal of a 6% annual economic growth. Although this surely is impressive, does this number present an accurate snapshot of China's economy? What does this growth mean in a broader context?
By Lucy Jones ’21
As vaccination numbers are rising and COVID-19 cases simultaneously diminish, this summer is expected to be the first time that Americans can live in “real life” again in over a year. This summer’s fashion centers on comfort and elegance with a dash of “summer of love” pieces. Although individuals are free to choose between the monochrome-chic look and the flow in summer florals and crochets, everyone is ultimately seeking to prioritize comfort and style.
By Sydney Schuster ’21
So, it's mid May and finally getting warm out. The flowers are descending from the branches of the trees to reveal thick set emerald green leaves. After a long week of finals, you wake up and think, “you know what? I think I’m ready for a trip across the pond.” Well, you're in luck, because this EU travel guide will assist you through all your travel needs!
By Taylor Hill ’22
All over the globe, many animals are suffering because they are held captive as test subjects for cosmetic products. Every year, in U.S. laboratories alone, over 100 million animals have harsh chemicals and creams injected into their eyes, throats, and skins before being thrown aside to die. These animals include rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, birds, reptiles, monkeys, and dogs, all bred solely for testing. In many countries — one of the most prominent being China — the government requires these tests to assess the dangers of new cosmetic formulae. Animal cruelty includes the animal testing of cosmetic products and chemical ingredients and the marketing of these products. Everyday toiletries like shampoo, eyeliner, deodorant, and almost any bathroom product could be subject to these inhumane practices.
By Michelle Wu '21
In the 2020 Formula 1 Season, a year without the usual cheering from the crowd and several teams facing pandemic-driven financial difficulties, the world has witnessed some of the most miraculous comebacks. From Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, who suffered from the humiliating demotion by Red Bull a year ago, winning the Italian Grand Prix, to Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who was on the verge of not having a seat next year, starting from the last place on the first lap to winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, to Haas’ Roman Grosjean coming out of the fireball alive after trapping in it for 28 seconds. At the time of writing this article, the 2021 Formula 1 season has just unfolded with the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. What predictions can we make from these two races, and what can we expect from the rest of the season?