I haven’t been back to Evanston since Cherubs. It is only 45 minutes northeast of me, but I have not been back since I drove away sobbing on August 1. Even though I haven’t seen the Northwestern Campus, or eaten Andy’s in almost a month, it seems like everything I do reminds me of the most amazing month of my life.
Since many of the places that we went during cherubs are popular throughout Chicago, I have been back to some of the places with cherub memories tied to them. Just this week, I went to Flat Top Grill with some school friends. Although I was having so much fun, I couldn’t help but remember the time that J. Crew went to Flat Top and got overcharged and almost fought over the roti prata bread. Just the mention of Forever Yogurt or Joy Yee’s by the girls on my team makes me remember all of the countless times we raced to get snacks before check in.
The hardest part about not being at cherubs is when I am reminded of all the inside jokes and memories we shared, from Stephanie and Kamikaze’s room to the BSR to Hinman. I have tried to explain them to my family and friends, who either roll their eyes or nod and pretend to understand.
I mean who can explain how Christian Paz became a rallying cry of cherubs? Or who else can understand the faction that is J. Crew? What is the real potato salad, if you haven’t eaten in Hinman?
Truth is, you won’t understand unless you’ve walked where we walked, slept where we slept, and eaten where we ate. Maybe that is a good thing. I’m starting to realize that these powerful memories all bind all 84 of us together in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Being able to connect with 83 people who come from different places has changed me in a way I can’t explain. I am so thankful for all that I learned about journalism and life. And closing in true Jimmy Lafakis style, it was true and real. #medillszn
So for this piece, I got out of my comfort zone by interviewing two members of the school administration. Before Cherubs, I hated interviews and did as few of them as possible. This is also probably the first news story I have written in awhile. This article took me out of my comfort zone. (There is also a shoutout to Cherubs; I got to interview Stephanie!)
The WY athletics department set new rules governing WY athletes, coaches, and fans. The WY Code of Ethics was presented when principal Joyce Kenner met with all athletes, during long division on Sept. 9.
“I believe we should hold our athletes at a higher standard because they represent our school on a daily basis and they are out in the public with WY’s face. We cannot afford for any of our students to be doing alcohol or drugs, damaging their bodies so that they can’t perform at the highest level of their capabilities,” Kenner said.
According to Athletic Director Chris Cassidy, the talk was an idea that was created last year after a few incidents involving athletes and alcohol.
“When I proposed it to the administration, Dr. Kenner said that it would be a good idea, rather than to just post it somewhere or talk individually to teams to do it as a whole for long division,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy researched the policies of different high schools, including Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, to see how they handled the issue.
Stevenson Golfer Stephanie Namkoong ‘15 said that her school has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to athletes and substance abuse.
Cassidy said that most of the policies of the different schools were strict, and athletes could lose their whole season immediately. He took inspiration from the part of many policies that said that students found engaging in substance abuse had to attend drug awareness classes to lessen their term of suspension, but chose to make the classes an option for students who have been caught twice.
“We felt like some of the students would feel like, this is just a one time thing, I’m not addicted to alcohol or anything. Most of them aren’t, it is just a one time thing,” Cassidy said.
The WY Code of Ethics begins with, “participation in the athletic program at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is regarded as a privilege and not a right.” It then goes on to describe the expectations and the consequences for disobeying the expectations.
The policy, which is available on the WY athletics website, is also in effect for vacations, the summer, and the off season. Fans and spectators are also held to the Code of Ethics when attending WY home games and are held to the Code of Ethics of other schools when cheering at away games.
“Don’t think about it as how it affects you, as much as it affects your teammates and coaches. Think about all the time that you’ve put into your program, Cassidy said. “It’s kinda unfair to you to go out and have one crazy night and it affects what you’ve been doing for four years here or all the hours that you’ve put in at practice.”