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The Foothill Dragon Press

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ASB talks upcoming rally, fundraising, sports in “State of Renaissance” address (video)


Associated School Body (ASB) Vice President Nick Vaughan gave a speech to the Foothill Dragon Press on the “State of Renaissance” on Wednesday. The speech was the second time ASB has addressed the press.

Due to the unforeseen circumstances, ASB President Evan Askar was not able to give his speech.

Vaughan spoke about the Renaissance program, an upcoming Renaissance event, a new safe driving event on campus, sports’ effect on campus and fundraising. 

An overall problem throughout the year for ASB has been the loss of parking fees, Vaughan said. The $8,000 dollars that Trudy Arriaga granted ASB will be allocated out to the ASB General Account, Air Guitar, Ren Fridays and other events and activities to “fill the void” caused by losing parking fees. 

“As far as future years go, I believe that we have a very innovative and hard working class,” he said. “I am confident we will be able to rearrange and find other funds in our budget to continue to provide for the students of our campus.”


Renaissance numbers drop 3 percent, ASB planning new events

After first quarter, the Renaissance program achieved “record numbers.” Vaughan said that 81 percent of the student body and 85 percent of the senior class was on the program.

At the semester, the numbers dropped by about 3 percent. Vaughan said that a semester drop has happened in previous years. 

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press
ASB Vice President and senior Nick Vaughan addressed members of the Foothill Dragon Press on Wednesday during his State of the School address. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

“We hope to get that back by bettering our incentives programs and portraying Renaissance as a welcoming community to the students of Foothill so that everybody can strive to find their place waiting for them,” Vaughan said. 

ASB is also planning a new rally. Vaughan highly encouraged students to work towards being on Renaissance so that they can take part in the event.

“I can’t say too much about this, but we have a huge surprise coming this year for our rally, so if you are not on Renaissance, I advise you to do whatever it takes to get your numbers up,” he said. “This will be one event that you will not want to miss.” 

Vaughan also said that the ASB Renaissance Action Team is planning a “school and class wide” competition between the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The goal will be to make the Start, Be, Stay and Finish Strong Programs more well known and incentivize students to get on Renaissance. 

The current goal is to have a record breaking 91 percent of seniors on Renaissance, and Vaughan hopes that the upcoming Finish Strong rally will help them reach it. He said that approximately 20 more kids in the senior class will need to join Renaissance to achieve the goal.


New Caltrans program to be brought to Foothill 

Due to the lack of Every 15 Minutes this year, Vaughan said that the ASB class wanted to bring a safe driving event to campus. 

The ASB class applied for a position to be a contestant in the Caltrans safe driving simulation. Paired with the organization Impact Teen Drivers, the simulation will focus on any distracted driving, including being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, eating or talking on the phone. 

A competition will be held between eight schools across California to see who can put on the best event. 

“The schools will be awarded based on the creativity of their advertisements and the participation of the student body,” Vaughan said. “We need everyone’s help to make sure that we can put on the informative and fun event.” 

The winner of competition will be awarded $2,000 dollars. 

“In all seriousness, it would be great to win the money, but our primary focus is to prevent the loss of anyone of our peers or anyone else on the road because of a distracted driving accident,” Vaughan said.


ASB tests out new fundraisers after Great American doesn’t meet expectations 

The ASB class has been selling “This Bar Saves Lives” fruit and nut snacks that meet nutrition guidelines. Buying a bar also donates a packet of food to a child in need.

Selling the bars is part of ASB’s goal to create a fundraiser that students want to participate in after the Great American fundraiser raised about a fourth of its projected goal. 

Vaughan said he does not think ASB will run the Great American fundraiser again next year.

“If we don’t create a good enough fundraiser that students are going to want to participate in, then we have to look into our own selves,” he said. “I definitely think ASB takes a lot of the blame for [low participation] […] That’s on us. That’s not just the students.” 

“I think if we can find a way to better represent and portray our fundraisers, more people will sell them,” he said. 

One idea Vaughan has to raise funds is to ask parents for donations. When parents supported ASB through the Great American fundraiser, ASB received 40 to 50 percent of the profits.

“It’s not exactly some cool, new idea, but if we get the money and the parents are going to buy the stuff through the programs anyway, that’s a 100 percent profit instead of 50 percent profit.”

Vaughan said participation and support is high for the new “This Bar Saves Lives” fundraiser.

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press
Vaughan took questions from members of the press and answered concerns about sports affecting the culture of Foothill. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Improving Foothill’s sports program is a second semester priority of ASB

Vaughan said that he feels that ASB and the Renaissance program could on this semester is the Foothill sports program.

“We do have a surprisingly successful sports program, and teams that have succeeded the whole county’s expectations this year, and there is an increasingly stronger bond from the student body to our Foothill sports.”

Vaughan said he does not believe that the implementation of sports is negatively affecting Foothill’s academics, citing the record level of Renaissance levels despite the addition of sports teams.

He also answered questions from student journalists about the potential negative social effects of adding sports on campus, and about how ASB is making the transition to adding sports on campus.

“I haven’t seen any negative social effects this year,” Vaughan said. “I think our idea of Foothill sports and our perception of it as the campus is a lot different than other schools.”

“Especially participating at Ventura high school for three years and then coming over here to Foothill, the whole energy from the student campus is way different. It’s much more supportive and it’s much more happy and positive.”
He said that he notices a lot of positivity supporting the program.

“A positive atmosphere coming from the coaches goes all the way down to the positive atmosphere coming from the fans. We’ve got a good idea on how to treat others with sports. I don’t think it’s going to be a negative thing.”

This year, ASB also created the term “Home week” to signify weeks when sports teams have most of their home games during the same week. The goal was to give more recognition to the teams.

“Since we don’t have a rival yet, and teams will go weeks without a home game appearance, it is important to rally behind them and appreciate them for their hard work in order to represent our school.”

Vaughan apologized to any teams that he may of let down by not representing their homeweek, due to it being created in the middle of the season.

Next year, ASB will have a Athletics Commissioner position and hopes to establish apparel specifically for Foothill sports fans. 

“We hope to grow the student campus closer through our sports teams and contribute to the recognition of our athletic endeavors.” 

At the end of last year, several students met with Trudy Arriaga at a PAAC meeting to discuss implementing sports. 

Thirty five of of 51 students voted to not have sports at Foothill, as was the viewpoint on a Dragon Press poll. Vaughan said the thinks this viewpoint is changing on campus. 

“I was the head guy at the meeting saying ‘Don’t have sports.’ I was the one who was really not good, and now I’m advocating for it,” Vaughan said.

“No one’s really complained about it thus far. How is sports going to change anything? Kids just want to be themselves and express themselves through sports, it’s not going to change anything,” he said.

“[It’s like] somebody who wants to bring their guitar to campus and play on the quad during lunch. I don’t think it’s any different.”

Background Photo Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

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  • A

    AlumniFeb 17, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Also, major props to Nick Vaughan and Evan Askar for making valiant attempts to close the gap between ASB and the student body, and spending time and effort to put on speeches like this to the student body. Certainly isn’t for the feint of heart, and I wish that more people recognized and appreciated the work that you’re putting in FOR THEM.

  • A

    AlumniFeb 17, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I must say, as a recent alum of Foothill, someone who was opposed to sports on campus, and being someone that championed the academic atmosphere of Foothill, that I rolled my eyes quite a few times at the above comments, especially from Ben. It may be because my perspective has changed a tad, but Ben, I can wholeheartedly assure you that this issue is not quite as large of an issue as you may think it is, or want it to be; considering you are highly involved within PAAC and Debate. To me, it seems that you’re no longer fighting solely against the idea(reality) of an athletics program on campus, more for just the sole reason of debating. Your argument does not seem anymore sophisticated with your use of large words and impeccable structure, and you do not appear anymore knowledgable or involved because you know the Commissioner of the CIF and jump on Evan for a little typo involving CIL/CIF. Your arguments are more based upon yourself, and the pain you endured for not receiving all the credit. Makes me laugh.

    To me, your entire argument is flawed, because you’re viciously attacking and fighting against athletics in the name of “unity” and “a more cohesive Foothill atmosphere” yet by doing this in such a vain, rude, and surly manner you’re no longer leading the charge against sports on campus (heaven forbid we forget) to maintain the rare connection of students and a pure academic focus, but you’re perpetuating the division and tension on campus.

    If only Foothillians were not so quick to disregard and degrade the genuine efforts of many people to better their high school careers (ASB, admin, school board), and instead had an optimistic attitude and a willingness to help, who knows where the relations among the student body, and Foothill could be.

    I urge you to consider this next time you’re spending hours drafting a whole case against anything and everything that ASB, the school’s staff, and the district does with the intent of bettering you life.

    • P

      Past and Future AlumFeb 17, 2015 at 4:03 am

      This seems like an attempt to discredit Ben through a thinly veiled ad-hominem attack and not an actual evaluation of his points. Is it not a bit hypocritical to accuse Ben of being “vain, rude, and surly” while at the same time claiming Ben’s (valid) criticisms “makes me laugh.” It seems more like you have some kind of personal vendetta here than a real concern for sports at Foothill

      • A

        AlumniFeb 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

        I wouldn’t quite go to the length to say that this is an ad hominem attack, I just chose not to personally address every single point he made because of what I said above, I believe that he is arguing this for no reason now. Sports are at Foothill, they won’t be going away anytime soon, they’re clearly performing very well, and the only result of his fiery and pointed arguments are to ensure he gets credit for his attempts, and to further perpetuate the tension on campus between academics and athletics. I don’t have a personal vendetta against Ben, I think he is an incredibly witty and intelligent young man, just personally believe that most of his “vain, rude, and surly” remarks are unjustified and out of place.
        It’s time to forget whatever injustice and failure of representation occurred, and to embrace, encourage, and support the entire community of Foothill to ensure that Foothill maintains its inclusive, accepting, tension-free atmosphere.

  • E

    Evan AskarFeb 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    It appears that you have a pretty significant chip on your shoulder about Foothill sports. It may help you fully develop your perspective on our athletic programs by discussing the repercussions of our these programs with myself, Nick, Mr. Bova, any number of other students or student athletes. Please let me know if you would like this, I will be sure to set up a meeting for you.

    I believe that your argument is flawed in many ways. One primary way being that you cite the Dragon Press pole as an accurate representation of how the Foothill student body feels about sports, despite the fact that the pole was taken last school year when our school did not have any sports programs to call its own. Secondly, one may vote on the Dragon Press poles as many times as they like as long as they are on different internet platforms. Lastly, if the pole really has only 51 votes on it in total, you may want to reassess the validity of using it to support your argument as 51 students composes less than 5% of Foothills entire student body. When you say that “Most people wanted option number two” you are saying that 35/1027 students are “most” people. That is less than 4% of our student body.

    You also seemingly fail to recognize that CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) ruled that due to our school’s size we would no longer have the option to send our student-athletes to Ventura or Buena, that Foothill must instate its own sports programs or have no student-athletes at all. The decision to create sports programs at Foothill was made in hopes that it would be the best thing for our students. Over 20% of Foothill’s student body is now participating in athletics (on and off cite), and as the years go by that number of students will entirely be competing for Foothill. I believe that you will be hard pressed to, now or in the future, find that over 20% of our student body is opposed to sports here at Foothill.

    I encourage you to come and discuss this issue with me (along with anyone else) if you have continuing objections, questions, or opinions.
    Thank You,

    • B

      Ben LimpichFeb 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      I do have a chip on my shoulder, I’m very passionate about this as you can probably tell, but telling me to talk to you in order to “fully develop my perspective” when I’ve been in contact with officials like Trudy Ariaga and the Commissioner of the CIF (his name is Rob Wigod) about this issue is a bit condescending of you.

      You say my argument is flawed yet you blatantly get facts wrong:

      1) The 51 vote thing was not the dragon press poll, that was the in-meeting PAAC poll. If you read my comment I said that it “reflected” the dragon press poll. The Dragon Press poll had hundreds of people enter and while yes the accuracy of it isn’t perfect I would certainly say it gives a lot more validity to my argument than yours, and also makes your whole ‘it’s only 4% of the school’ a complete misconstrue of my argument.

      2) I don’t “seemingly fail to recognize” that the CIF ended our contract (it’s actually the CIL [channel islands league] not the CIF) since I said “the Channel Islands League had decided to cancel our multi-site contract” in my third main paragraph. Did you even read my comment Evan? My whole point was students were complaining, and that when given the options of no sports or only Foothill sports the majority chose no sports. You seem to be portraying me as saying ‘I want to change the system’, but what I’m stating is that what was said in this article isn’t true, and that there are complaints. You missed my entire point.

      3) The CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) didn’t end our contract, the Channel Islands League did.

      Two things I want to mention:

      1) “The decision to create sports programs at Foothill was made in hopes that it would be the best thing for our students”—My whole point is that the decision got little input from students, and by the way, if something is in their best interest, wouldn’t it be a half-decent idea to ask them first? Just a thought.

      2) This is simply a matter of our perspectives but I don’t think I would be very hard-pressed to find 20% who are against sports, in fact I think it would be pretty easy.

      My first comment was overly-aggressive towards Nick, which is why I assume this comment was aggressive towards me, but your argument against my points isn’t even addressing what I was saying.

  • N

    Nick VaughanFeb 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Hey Ben, I’m sorry to hear about the way you feel but I am happy you are voicing your opinion and I truly hope I can help in any way. I do not want to get into it too much over the comment section of an article but I would like to publicly apologize for saying I was the “Head guy” at the paac debate, my intention was not to take an credit away from you or anyone else, but to emphasize the the magnitude of my change in opinion of having sports on campus. So I am very sorry for that, I don’t want to come off as an arrogant person although I can see how it would seem like that. As far as this years meeting goes, I would have very much liked to attend that but I was out on the stage helping with a renaissance event. Again, I am very sorry to hear about your opinion on foothill sports but I would definitely like to hear more about your concerns in order to improve the program on campus. If you would like to hear me explain my reasoning, express your concerns and complaints, or offer suggestions as to how to improve our program, I encourage you to contact me. My cell is (805) 701-0197, email [email protected], or simply find me at school and talk to me.

    Dragon Press, Thank you for your time and helping ASB create a source of transparency for our students.

    • B

      Ben LimpichFeb 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you for your genuine comment Nick, I want to also apologize since my comment was basically a rant targeted at you. I wrote it half-asleep so I wasn’t very controlled, and I shouldn’t have done that. That said it’s not me you should be talking to about the program, it’s really the teachers; they are the ones who have been impacted the most I think. I understand the arguments for sports, and the impact is less apocalyptical than when my initial opinions formed, but also I have to give you the warning that you would have a very hard time changing my mind, I’ve literally argued this with the people who made the decision for us when we were sophomores.

      Thank you for your outreach.

  • B

    Ben LimpichFeb 15, 2015 at 11:34 am

    A few comments on the sports section of the speech:

    “I haven’t seen any negative social effects this year”—It’s difficult to quantify anything but one instance does certainly stand out in my mind about social effects of sports. At the beginning of the year during the somewhat odd Gatorade-athon (which in it of itself is problematic) there was a point after a big athletic assembly where Gatorade was being offered for free out of orange tubs, and I heard a group of freshmen/sophomore boys say “no, this is only for athletes!” presumably to someone who was trying to get a drink. Team unity is of course important, but a clear distinction between “athletes” and “non-athletes” is not something that is beneficial to school, especially when it’s expressed in such a negatively discriminatory way. Again, it’s hard to objectively see a social divide, but a concerning catalyst seems to already be there.

    “I was the head guy at the meeting saying ‘Don’t have sports.’ I was the one who was really not good, and now I’m advocating for it”— I’m going to be honest, I’m insulted by this. To be frank Nick, you were not the head guy at the PAAC meeting, I was. I was the one who set up the meeting, I was the one who contacted Trudy Ariaga and got her to come to the meeting, and (completely arbitrary I know) I’m even the one in the picture of the Dragon Press story about the meeting—albeit not a particularly good picture of me. And, to add a little bit more wood to the fire, when there was a follow up PAAC meeting THIS YEAR about Sport’s impact on Foothill you were not present. This statement irritates me because it gives the false impression that you were the one leading the charge against sports when in reality people like Luke Ballmer, who wrote a great column about it, and Molly Roberts, who made probably one of the most impassioned arguments about the subject, were the ones who were actually at the helm.

    “No one’s really complained about it thus far. How is sports going to change anything? Kids just want to be themselves and express themselves through sports, it’s not going to change anything”—Let’s talk about this.

    Student wise I hear quite a lot of complaints from both people both inside and outside friend-groups. Most of it revolves around the fact that we didn’t want sports in the first place, and the School Board basically ignored us. I remember distinctly at the meeting that Trudy Ariaga said that since the Channel Islands League had decided to cancel our multi-site contract we had two options: 1) have sports only at Foothill 2) have no sports at all. Most people wanted option number two. This article says that 35/51 were against change, but it’s important to note that there was also 12 neutral, and only 4 for it. That is an incredibly small amount and this ratio was reflected to a lesser degree in the more comprehensive Dragon Press poll. This is what I find students complain about most, that we were ignored, and I hear it a lot.

    Teacher wise I’ve heard multiple complaints and one pretty emphatic rant. The big thing is of course is that teachers were misled about the implementation of sports, that being that they were told by the administration that academics would always be prioritized over athletics. This turned out to not be true however when sport practices routinely made students miss latter sections of classes and in some cases consistently carved out entire rooms. A convincing argument that I heard was that if academics were truly being prioritized over sports that they would shorten practices, not classes. In addition to this, more kids do sports now than when we used Buena and Ventura as proxy schools, amplifying the problem that was supposed to be fixed by implementing sports.

    So yes, there are legitimate complaints, it is changing the school, and while yes kids do want to express themselves through sports, that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes.

    “[It’s like] somebody who wants to bring their guitar to campus and play on the quad during lunch. I don’t think it’s any different”—Finally, the guitar analogy. No, it is not like a guitar. Unless that guitar is ridiculously expensive, possibly fosters division, and routinely yanks kids out of class then no, sports is not like a guitar in the quad.

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ASB talks upcoming rally, fundraising, sports in “State of Renaissance” address (video)