A comparison of Mock Trial, MUN, and Debate

Clubs like Debate, Mock Trial and Model United Nations seem similar on the surface because all three focus on constructing logical arguments and current events. However, the clubs do have variations in the many aspects of their club, such as conferences, structure, as well as what people think of the clubs.

Debate-MUN-Mock Trial Comparison

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Senior Eric Lee is currently MUN Co-President
“Model UN is a club which deals with the resolution of world issues which are in both first world and third world countries,” said Eric Lee, MUN President. “It is the ultimate infusion of political intrigue with international politics.”

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Senior Mihir Gokhale is currently a Public Forum captain in Debate
“Debate is a forum where you can gain a better understanding of argumentation, debate, oratory [and] research,” said Mihir Gokhale, Debate captain. “It exposes you to a lot of different things and a lot of different skillsets you will need in your real life and to succeed.”

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Senior Ajay Merchia is currently Mock Trial Co-President

“[Mock Trial] teaches you how to speak, it teaches you how to write, it teaches you how to think analytically and it’s gonna help you keep that 4.0, I’m sure,” said Ajay Merchia, Mock Trial Co-President. “On top of that, we’re also an incredible family. We go to Chipotle, we have all of our fun bondings, we create these grand elaborate conspiracy theories and it really is just an incredible experience.”

Co-reported with Amita Mahajan 

A comparison of Mock Trial, MUN, and Debate

Part of Something Smaller

Work hard, and all will pay off. This is the mentality that is ingrained in our minds as we strive to be academically successful due to the influence of the MVHS student body. Out of a survey of 193 students, 73 percent stated that the main reason their family lives in Cupertino is for the education; MVHS is ranked #13 out of all high schools in CA as reported by the U.S. News and World Report. We follow advice to achieve academic success, and find satisfaction in being that student with a 4.0 GPA, or the student that is ranked among the top decile of our graduating class. Our routines are largely homogeneous. This is not to say that it’s wrong to strive for academic success, but it becomes an issue when this culture impedes our involvement in our community.

We know how important it is for us to get good grades, study hard for the SAT and go to a highly-ranked college. Study for tests, focus on clubs and seek impressive extracurriculars. Regardless of whether or not we acknowledge it, the Monta Vista community embodies a robotic, homogenous routine of working hard amidst the competitive mentality. And we can’t let that prevent us from getting experience in our own community.

Eighty percent of students reported that their parents are first generation immigrants. We may not be able to say that our grandparents attended MVHS. We may not view Cupertino as our community. We may not find permanence in Cupertino. But the truth is that, this is our hometown. It surely isn’t one of those towns in which everyone is a familiar face, but it’s still a place worthy of appreciation, involvement and attachment— even for those who were been born somewhere else. All of us attend high school in Cupertino and are people of this community.

Though our family heritage may not be of America and our families may not be fully involved — whether it be not voting, not reading the newspaper, or not participating in local events — we hold a different role. Though 52 percent of students state that their parents are minimally or not involved in the community, and though our parents may not view Cupertino as their original or permanent community, we should. As members of the community, we have a responsibility to be aware of and involved in Cupertino. Regardless, the the community is in our hands, and it’s up to us whether we stay isolated from it or get involved in the future.

With many changes in Cupertino, we should recognize what the future of this city will become. The reconstruction of the Vallco Mall will transform the entire mall area into a sort of “downtown” space along with a chunk of land dedicated to the creation of more residential homes. The new Apple Campus, according to Macworld, will be finalized in 2016 and have an area of 2.8 million-square-feet and house more than 13,000 employees. The city’s population grew 15 percent from 2000 to 2010, as reported by the Bay Area Census.

Though this increase doesn’t seem drastic, it does means something. We contributed to that population increase by living here and attending MVHS, so it’s time to give back to our community after it has given so much to us and our families. A simple visit to Cupertino’s website can help us explore volunteer opportunities that range from maintaining Cupertino’s clean environment to helping out in the Senior center. Research by The Corporation for National and Community shows that being involved in one’s community can help strengthen connections, improve lives and find a sense of purpose or belonging. Taking initiative is the key to being a part of something and expanding our experiences.

We can turn a blind eye, and focus solely on our SAT prep, 5 APs and college applications rather than contribute to our surrounding environment, but we can’t shake off our presence in our community. We, as students, should serve a purpose in Cupertino beyond just our own education. A role to appreciate our community and be invested in it—to give back. We can find more sincere satisfaction from assisting our community, because our impact lasts longer and is larger than our own lives. Aside from achieving academically, striving to improve our community through various methods allows us to see the bigger picture and gain invaluable experience. We get to be a part of something collective and more impactful than our day-to-day test scores.

Through various community service clubs such as Octagon, National Honors Society and Interact, we often become involved in other communities instead of Cupertino. These clubs do indeed give us valuable service experience, but we still need to remember and directly give back to Cupertino. Exploring the Cupertino website and reaching out to the city council allows us to boost communication skills and widen our horizon.. This is our community, our home, and we are the ones who shape the future of our community, the mentality of the student body.

With the start of the new year, we have a chance to explore our community and develop insight into unexplored areas of our community. With the chance we have, let’s mold the culture of MVHS’s community for the better. Cupertino has a history, and today, we are here to make more of it.

Co-reported with Emily Zhao

Part of Something Smaller

Teachers should give supply lists earlier

Six bright red carts are lumped together in the middle of the shiny white marble floor, blocking the way of everyone trying to get pass. The smell of anxiety and impatience fills the air as people maneuver their way in and out of the incoming traffic. Phones are out, people trying to find each other in the Back-to-School clearance space at Target. Eleven checkout lanes are open, as well as four self-checkout stations, yet the lines still stretch and weave their way through the Accessories and Hosiery aisles.

At 8:08 P.M. on Aug. 17, the first day of class for all schools in the FUHSD district, Target is a complete mess. Backpacks in the Back-to-School area are thrown astray, red carts are jammed here and there and people are pushing and shoving to get the items they want.  Both students and parents frantically pour through the aisles in the Back-to-School area, all of them trying to find that Expo marker, or 3 by 5 inch index notecards that the student needs by the next day.  

Many high schools and middle school teachers don’t give a list of school supplies to their students until the very first day of school. It’s this exact reason which leads to the mass last minute shopping and grappling of the leftover school supplies.

Student roams the Back-to-School area, looking for necessary school supplies.

Sometimes, the school doesn’t accommodate to students’ busy schedules.. The students don’t have unlimited free time which they can use to do whatever’s handed to them at the moment. Even on the first day, they have math homework to do, Japanese tests to study for, green papers to get signed and more.  On top of that, students have to make a very rushed trip to the nearest Target or Staples where they stand in lines longer than the ones at Disneyland, only to buy that single notebook they don’t have, or those post-its they just found out they would need the next day. Students need more time than just a day or two to get supplies, because it gives them time to maintain a balanced schedule.

Of course, the situation would be understandable if it was the only choice students had, with no other solutions.  However, there are definitely ways for teachers to make students’, as well as their own lives, a lot easier.

Sophomore Annabel Li is one of the very many hasty supply shoppers on the first day of school. “In middle school, the thing was each teacher had their designated website,” said Li. “And there was a supply list on that.”

Instead of the last minute school supply dash, with all the mini traffic jams worse than Highway 85’s 5 to 7 p.m. work time rush, teachers should find time to compile a nice general supply list for students that can be posted on the Monta Vista website or their class website. By doing this, students don’t have to rush to Target for that last one-inch binder, and they can come to school more prepared.  

“I’m shopping here today because we didn’t get the list of supplies until today and it’s really irritating,” Li said. “The cheap stuff is gone and shopping carts are everywhere.”

Also, some teachers may have specific materials for their class.  If this is the case, and students can only know about it on the first day of school, teachers should allow their students more time to get the specific supplies. This would be more convenient for both teachers and students, so teachers don’t have to deal with unprepared students, which could cause a delay in the learning curriculum, whereas students don’t have to deal with the chaotic situation.

English teacher Stacey Cler thinks that the idea that teachers should hand out a general list of selection of supplies before class starts to make life easier for students is a good one.

“Each teacher in high school is competent enough of what they need, to make a list, and there is no reason why someone at school couldn’t be able to post per course per teacher what things you need.” Cler said. “I would be happy to post stuff before hand, that just seems rational to me.”

Cler’s willingness to post supply lists will definitely benefit all students, as well as herself. She’s willing to make this change.  It may seem like students are procrastinating the task of buying school supplies because they don’t go until the first day of school, but the reality is that they are unclear of what to buy, and are forced to go out right at the last minute. It ends up being an extremely disorderly process

A simple list of supplies posted during the summer, or even earlier, can help students come to school more prepared, and teachers won’t have to worry about students not having important materials for their classes. And it can solve Target’s chaos at 8:08 P.M. on the Monday night of the first day of school.  

Co-reported with Emma Lam

Teachers should give supply lists earlier