A Green Light in High School

F. Scott Fitzgeralds literary masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby” must continue to be taught in Schools

“Its one of those iconic pieces that everyone talks about,” says history major, Mari Daze.

“The Great Gatsby” has been taught in school for decades, as it touches on many different themes.

“I think it’s a good way to analyze how an author in the 20’s portrays the American dream and how we portray the American dream now and comparing and contrasting what things have remained the same, what things have changed,” Mari says.

The novel also allows students to grow their literary minds by understanding different concepts that are not literal.

“I think it showed the American dream, not in a literal sense, it was open to a lot of interpretation which i think is important to learn in school so that students can have their own opinion about it,” says Ebudu Okeke, a phycology major.

Outside of the classroom, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel remains important years after it is read. “The Great Gatsby” provides as a great source to many references in popculture.

“Every so often, you might hear someone make a reference to ‘The Great Gatsby’, like the green light,” says Mari.

“The Great Gatsby” must continue to be read in order to provide students with “a clear view to history,” says Mari.

“It’s just become very iconic,” says Mari.

Quantity Over Quality? A Closer Look Into the Restrictions of Summer Academy

There has been a shift of freedom and guidelines since the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication partnered with the University of Georgia’s Summer Academy Program since 2021.

“Those camps literally changed my life because it decided, fully what I wanted to do for a living, it also gave me friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life,” former camper in 2008 and 2009, Jack Patterson says. “I had a great time, I loved going up there, I loved being able to go see what downtown Athens had to offer, I loved being able to explore the campus…it was just a lot a fun.”

Guidelines of freedom while being a camper at UGA has changed. Before 2021, Grady hosted an independent camp that managed the housing, food and curriculum as well as the afternoon activities and daily schedule of the camp. “We went bowling…we went go cart racing, that was a lot of fun,” Patterson says.

Since the Georgia Center/UGA Summer Academy partnered with Grady, restrictions outside the classroom have become significantly stricter. According to Stephanie Moreno, director of the Grady portion of the camp, the partnership was formed mainly to help with camp logistics.

“Really all that Grady has to do is just show up. We take care of the activities, we take care of housing,” says Bryce Martin, youth coordinator and the director of Summer Academy. “The Georgia Center has their own system that we can use for collecting information for everyone, our registration system, we handle the overnight portion of our program.”

Although the partnership has helped Grady with registration and organization, there is a sense among campers that the quality of the camp itself has been altered. Overall the restrictions and strict schedule implemented by Summer Academy has changed the Grady summer camp’s character.

Compared to a daily schedule from the independent Grady Camp in 2015, directed by Joe Dennis, the present 2022 schedule lacks in freedom. In the schedule from 2015, campers were given multiple opportunities to explore the campus with fellow campers, and participate in fun activities off campus as an entire group. “You had plenty of freedom to go around and mingle with people, and thats what we ended up doing, that’s where those friendship were made,” said Patterson recalling 2008.

For overnight students, in 2015, the lights-out time was 11p.m.-12a.m., where presently the lights-out time is 9:30p.m. “Lights out by 10:45 not 9:30,” a 2022 camper wrote on an informal survey given to Grady campers.

To come to a college campus, there should be a feel to the college lifestyle to an extent, a sense of freedom. Presently, this freedom is not felt by campers.

“More freedom,” another 2022 camper writes.

“You guys weren’t just stuck in a room all day. It was getting to check out and see UGA as a whole, that was my big push,” Martin says.

The intent of less restrictions is there, but to the Georgia Center, it is seen as unattainable.

To the present 2022 campers, there is a sense of overpowering restrictions to having fun at a camp that used to have more freedom. Obviously, the campers are minors and must be safe under the UGA Minors protection policy that makes sure that ‘Anyone that works with minors has to go through…a process…a background check,” Martin says.

Of course, there is a reason that “there are restrictions in place, I should know where you are at all times.”

Martin said his challenge is controlling freedom between the different age gaps at this camp.

“An 11-year-old has to be managed compared to someone who’s older and 17, how do I get that gap between them, and it is very difficult. There really isn’t always the opportunity or me to say, ‘Your 17 years old, go, do whatever you want’, so as much as I would love to say ‘Hey, go downtown, do what you want, have some fun, we have as much freedom as possible as we can out there,” Martin says.

During the 37 years before Grady partnered with Summer Academy, all campers were in high school, but because the Georgia Center expanded the age to middle school, these restrictions burden the older kids and prevent them from their freedom to experience the campus.

But many campers think there is a better balance that can be struck between keeping campers safe and allowing them flexibility to experience the University of Georgia campus.

“I wish I had more freedom,” said Sydney Van Dillen, a student in the journalism class. “I thought I would experience the campus more than I have.”

Music Matters: The Music Experience At UGA

People care a lot about sports, but don’t pay any attention to performing arts. 

Ian Jones, a recent UGA graduate that was a music major said, “I really do value music and it’s not pursued because I want to make money,” he said. “I’m pursuing it because I love it.” 

At most colleges, sports is the number one priority. Other programs besides sports become forgotten and not recognized as much as student athletes. Performing arts being one of them. Performing arts is a very competitive field and musicians don’t get the credit they deserve. 

“I feel like I have matured a lot because of music,” Jones said. “I’ve gained a lot of sensitivity and emotional input and output and it’s helped me become a better person.”

Jones spoke about how much he loved being at UGA and being a music major. He explained that it took a lot of practice and dedication to get into UGA’s music program. He also highlighted the challenges he has had to face in such a competitive field. 

“The social challenge [of being a music major] is people always asking what you are going to do with your career,” he said. “Musicians do gain a stigma that they are going to have a ‘poor person job.’”

Jones also underlined the struggles of being in the music world, while also having to be shadowed by UGA’s big sports presents.

“We definitely did not get the same quality or representation [in contrast to sports programs],” he said. “However, I do acknowledge that it is two different worlds that are occurring. You have the very artistic side of the campus versus the athletics.”

Some would agree that people support sports more than music programs which makes the UGA orchestra community underrepresented.

 Mark Cedel, the director of the orchestra at University of Georgia said, “This was something I couldn’t understand when I came here, coming to such a big university, a big football team where football is very important,” he added. “I wish we had more support for the arts.”

However, Cedel does not regret his decision to teach or direct orchestra at the university level. 

“I feel lucky being in academia,” Cedel said. “It’s always exciting seeing how they [students] react to a piece of music for the first time.” 

Cedel spoke on being a director at the University of Georgia and he expressed that he really loves his job and how much he loves orchestra.

“I love making music, bringing the music alive and studying it while figuring out what the composer wanted,” he said. “There is always room for interpretation and your own personal feeling.”

There are many positive attributes to being in a orchestra and UGA takes pride in working together to create music.

Laura Patterson, a first violinist in The Athens Orchestra commented,“I love getting to do something with other people that are fun and creative and brings joy to the audience.“We have fun playing music, but then in the performance, someone else gets to enjoy what we’re enjoying.”

Patterson went to UGA as a music major and she also played sousaphone for the Redcoats band. She explained that the redcoats were different from the orchestra ensemble because the orchestra was more pressure. She agreed that people do not support the arts as much as they support sports teams, but they supported the redcoats because they were connected to football. 

“People absolutely support the marching band on game days because they recognize that it’s a very important part of the game day experience.”

Patterson explained that she had a unique experience playing for both the orchestra and in the marching band. She explained how important it is to support the arts as a whole.

A great way to support local music is to show up to the events and give back to the programs.

 “Go to concerts for paid organizations, donate money if you have it, but then also support music in our schools,“ said Patterson. “If we don’t support music in our schools, then we won’t have musicians in the future.”

“The Simpsons” is Better Than “Family Guy”

“The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” are one in the same – they are both long running adult cartoons with large fanbases. Both have been criticized and revered for their boldness in making edgy and offensive jokes. However, one show clearly stands above the other – “The Simpsons” surpasses “Family Guy” in humor, characters, and touching moments, making it the superior show. 

While “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” have similar humor in the fact that they are both unapologetic and offensive, “The Simpsons” pulls it off with more class than “Family Guy” ever could. “Family Guy” utilizes cutaway gags, which are clips that interject the main story with a quick joke. In fact, “Family Guy” episodes have an average of 11 cutaways per episode according to the Family Guy wiki, which often interrupts the story and disrupts the flow of the episode. On the other hand “The Simpsons” delicately crafts their jokes into the story so that the episode flows seamlessly while at the same time being funny. 

In addition, the characters from “The Simpsons” are so much better developed and well rounded than the characters from “Family Guy.” A perfect example are the two daughters from the families from each show. Lisa Simpson, The daughter in “The Simpsons” is a very interesting complex character with multiple interests, like playing the saxophone, reading, activism, and dolls.​​ But Meg Griffin, the daughter from “Family Guy” is a one dimensional character with little to no interests, and according to her wiki page is merely a punching bag for the rest of the family who adds nothing to the story. The complexity of characters in “The Simpsons” leads to greater connections and stories than seen in “Family Guy.”

“The Simpsons” not only does comedy and character development much better than “Family Guy” but also the sweet touching moments. “The Simpsons” has a wide variety of heartwarming episodes, which include but is not limited to “Maggie makes 3,” “Lisa’s first word,” and “mother simpson.” “Family Guy” only has one episode that attempts to be sweet, “Brian and Stewie,” an episode which is just as gross as it is heartwarming, for the fact that Brian eats out of Stewie’s diaper. 

When surveyed, the majority of people said that “Family Guy” was the better show. However, the reason they stated was that it was only because they hadn’t seen “The Simpsons” where as people who chose “The Simpsons” said that they watched both and “The Simpsons” was just better. So while “Family Guy” may be more popular nowadays, it doesn’t hold a candle to the classic that is “The Simpsons.”

Athfest Returns Following Two-Year Hiatus


A local music festival called Athfest is returning after being unable to take place due to COVID-19 for the past 2 years.

“It was canceled because we couldn’t get our city permit that you have to have to hold the event,” said Rachel Allen, a member of the Athfest team. However, she says that all the relationships necessary to hold Athfest had been continued, “so there wasn’t much of a gap there getting back started.”

The Athfest music and arts festival is a 3 day gathering that features local artists and culture. It consists of outdoor stages, iconic local venues, an artist market, and even an area for children. After not taking place for the past two years due to concerns about COVID-19, the Athfest team is working hard to make it return on June 24th to June 26th of this year. 

“It’s an organization that works year round,” said Allen, referring to the Athfest team. “It’s a well oiled machine.”

Allen’s description of the team highlights how the return of Athfest is expected to be very smooth despite the 2 year gap since the previous festival. “It’s not like everybody just went away for two years,” Allen said. The Athfest team has been working through the COVID-19 pandemic and are prepared for their return. 

However, this year’s festival does have a change. 

“For the last many years we’ve had a system where you buy a wristband and can go to a dozen different venues where there is music,” Allen said. But this year, there are only two ticketed venues – the Georgia theater and the 40 watt club. “It had to do with the last minute nature of having to wait until the number where right covid wise” Allen said. By the time the Athfest team knew they would be putting on the festival, numerous venues had not opened back up due to concerns about COVID-19.

Despite this change, one of Allen’s comments assured that the music will remain the same. 

“We still had all the relationships with bands,” Allen said. Even though there has been trouble setting up the festival amongst the chaos brought by the pandemic, the same bands will perform like they have at the previous Athfests.

Opinion: Does Wealth Determine Your Success?

No matter race, gender or class, everyone wants to be successful. However, what does success mean in simple terms?

Success means achieving or accomplishing a goal. This goal could be getting a high paying job or it could be being fulfilled in life through various ways. When asked the question of whether success comes from wealth or wellbeing, two upcoming college freshmen said that happiness was the most important factor in their lives. Coming from their own personal experiences, Olivia and Ivy said their situation may not be the same for everyone, but their wellbeing mattered the most.

Billionaire entrepreneur and businessman Richard Branson wayed into the debate as well. While the founder of Virgin Records has billions of dollars, he disagrees with the widely known statement “money equals happiness”.

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people they associate with,” he wrote. “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.”

Entrepreneur and television personality Mark Cuban also offers his opinion on the topic.

“To me, success is waking up in the morning with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day,” he said.

Additionally, it is evident that not all successful people have millions of dollars lying around. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. While his paintings are now worth millions, he did not have that much money while he was alive. Despite this, Van Gogh is deemed successful and is one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. 

On the other hand, money can lead you to live a better lifestyle, which contributes to becoming successful. A research study at Binghamton University in New York found that success materialism (wealth and material possessions are a sign of success in life) positively influences life satisfaction by boosting a person’s economic satisfaction. 

While this may be true, many successful people had a hard upbringing and became successful through their own determination. Oprah Winfrey, for example, grew up in poverty. This obstacle did not stop her from working hard and becoming one of the most inspiring talk-show hosts in America. This just goes to show that having money does not drive peoples’ actions. Ambitions, dreams and goals are the reason people get to where they want to go. 

In simple terms, having money does not mean you are successful. On the other hand, having no money doesn’t mean you are not successful. Success is a personal achievement that has no limits. 

2022 journalism camp partners with Georgia Center

Although the Grady College has hosted many overnight journalism camps at the University of Georgia, 2022 marked the first time the Georgia Center is involved.

“We handle the overnight portion of our program,” said Bryce Martin, youth program coordinator for the Georgia Center. “Really all that Grady has to do is just show up.” 

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication gives the campers a range of classes they can take to learn more about a career they are interested in. Partnering with the Georgia Center allows them to focus on the educational part of the camp. During the COVID pandemic, the Georgia Center originally started online classes over the summer that students could attend, but now they are expanding the camp by hosting overnight campers. They schedule out-of-class activities for the campers and make day plans to keep everything organized. 

The day plan includes activities such as going to the pool, movie nights and an on campus scavenger hunt. However, with the summer Georgia heat and multiple activities, it didn’t go according to plan. 

“Kids were exhausted, we were actually to the point where kids would fall asleep in class,” Martin said, adding that since then, they changed the schedule around to help fix this problem. “We implemented this schedule change Friday last week.”

Many students believe that the Georgia Center has made rules and schedules that have taken away their freedom and free time. According to an informal survey given to campers, roughly half said they “will not be attending this camp next year” due what they perceive as unreasonable rules and schedules.

Students are instructed to wake up at 6:30 a.m. so they can leave at 7 a.m. to get breakfast. After breakfast the campers go to their classrooms from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have activities directly after class sessions that end before dinner around 6:30 p.m. After dinner at 7:30 p.m. more activities are planned until they go back to their dorms. On most nights, campers are instructed to stay in their rooms at 9:30 a.m., and not leave until the morning. 

Staff members have noticed the strenuous schedule and feel bad for the kids that are frustrated. “As a counselor you have off from 8:30 to 5:30, and when we pick the kids up, we go from 5:30 to sometimes 9:45, and when we get back to the dorms all of the counselors are so tired,” said one of the camp counselors working the 2022 Summer Academy, who asked to remain anonymous because of his job position. “Unlike us, these kids were going nonstop from 8:30 to whenever we got back to the dorms.” 

According to this staff member, the schedule is, “Borderline inhumane.”

The staff members manage the kids in a way where they feel like they have no freedom. Everywhere the campers walk they are supposed to have a counselor with them at all times, even to go to the restroom. “I don’t understand why we have to wrap bubble wrap around y’all,” the counselor said. 

Campers do not like the way they are being treated at the camp and have suggested changes to make it more enjoyable. According to survey results, campers wrote the camp could be improved by:

-“Let us go downtown more!

-More interactive activities!

-Give us a waiver so we can tour the campus ourselves in hope of a good experience so we know if we want to apply later on.” 

Undoubtedly, the Georgia Center provides stability and deals with the logistics for the journalism camp. But many campers think it’s impacting the overall camp experience in a negative way.

“I genuinely came here with a different idea of the camp,” said a 2022 overnight camper. “I didn’t think it would be so restricted. Especially because the camps back then were so different and not nearly as controlling.” 

2022 NFL Draft: Georgia’s Winning Streak Continues

The NFL Draft is the one night a year where a player’s life can change by just one announcement.

Claude Felton, senior associate athletic director of The University of Georgia said, “Most players that want to go to these big schools dream of being in the NFL.”

Georgia football set a number of records in the 2022 NFL Draft. 15 players were drafted from the University, making this the highest number of players selected from a single school in the seven-round draft history. Additionally, Georgia set the record for the most defensive players drafted from a single school in the first round. 

Key Georgia players such as Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine and many others were drafted by a NFL team. This worried many fans, who pondered over what the team will do next year without these Georgia stars. 

“No matter how good a coach you are, if you don’t have the players, it’s going to be hard to get to where you want to go,” Felton said. 

To solve this issue, Felton discussed head coach Kirby Smart’s main prioritization in the off season, recruiting. Recruiting is one of Georgia’s strengths. Smart mentioned that recruiting is 50% of his job. Especially after the 2022 National Championship game, high school boys dream of playing at a top performing university.

“Those 15 guys that got drafted, there was a time when no one had heard of them either,” Felton said while discussing accurate recruiting. 

While most players’ main goal is to declare for the NFL Draft, not every player chooses that path. College football players are allowed to declare for the draft as early as their junior year of college. This has been the case for many Georgia alumni such as Herschel Walker, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. 

However, it’s still normal to see players stay for their fourth year and get a degree or have one more chance to enjoy their time in college. In this upcoming season, Nolan Smith, Willam Poole, Stetson Bennett and many others will be making their way back between the hedges one last time.

“Some guys wanted to stay their whole four years and graduate, but a lot of guys knew when it was time for them to go and chase their dream,” said Julian Rochester, former defensive lineman at the University of Georgia. 

The Draft will forever remain one of the most historic nights in football. A so-called late pick in the 6th round could end up winning the Super Bowl and breaking countless records. Playing on the Georgia football team does not just mean putting on pads and running on a field. It means being a part of a family and doing whatever it takes to help your team succeed. 

The 15 players that were drafted in the 2022 draft will achieve great accomplishments on their respective teams. Equally, Georgia fans will never forget the impact all of the players the team lost had on the program. 

Georgia still has many young talented players on their roster as well, such as Brock Bowers and Kelee Ringo. Needless to say, the Georgia football team and staff is confident that they have everything it takes to be at the top next year.

“Kirby Smart and the entire Georgia football program will do their best to keep continuing being a championship football team”, said Rochester.

YSL RICO Charge

During the month of March, police arrested Young Stoner Life (YSL) record label rappers, Young Thug and Gunna as well as multiple other alleged YSL affiliates on a RICO charge. Authorities suspect that YSL is more than a record label, but a fully-run gang. 

Referred to as RICO, the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act was created by the federal government to combat and take down organized crime organizations, gangs and Mafia mobs. Although the RICO act targets these organizations, only 35 crimes make up the list associated with the act. These include gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, death and counterfeiting. RICO contains four main elements: proof that an enterprise or organization exists, interstate commerce, employment by the enterprise, and that affairs were conducted by employees or associates of the enterprise. 

“The sentence one might receive for a RICO charge reaches up to 20 years and also depends on the defendant’s criminal history,” law student Lexi Deagen said. 

Prosecutors assume that Young Thug, also known as Jeffery Williams, acts as one of the ringleaders in the YSL gang. Williams was accused of renting a car that was used in the commission of murder and he was also charged with an attempt to murder rapper YFN Lucci. Legal authorities already had their eye out for Thug for previous crimes, such as possession of illegal substances and firearms. To further accuse Williams, authorities used lyrics from his previous songs as evidence. Although some may say that this violates the 1st Amendment’s freedom of expression, this amendment does not protect defendants from prosecutors using their song lyrics against them. 

Gunna, also known as Sergio Kitchens, received a RICO charge at the same time as Young Thug and turned himself in hours after Young Thug was arrested. Prosecutors have accused him of offenses such as stolen property and illegal drug distribution. Gunna was recently denied bail by a Georgia judge regarding his case, however, he still pleads innocent. 

“I listen to Young Thug every once in a while, I’m a pretty solid fan, especially Gunna, I think the RICO charge might honestly help the record label because people are going to want to help them. Also, the more it gets in the public eye it’s going to get the label more attention and make them more popular. For the rappers individually though, they’re in jail so that’s never good.” UGA journalism student Sebastian Baggett said.

Not only does this change impact the YSL rappers and the record label, but it affects the fans as well. With multiple popular artists signed to YSL, the charges against these rappers caused disappointment among fans. As a result, the label will lose both money and record sales.

“Those rappers are some of the most popular in Atlanta and we need them to put out music. As a fan, I don’t know what we’re going to do without their music. I don’t know for sure what they did and I’m kinda 50/50 about whether they did it or not, but I hope they are innocent because without them, what will we listen to?” said a UGA Student. 

The Changing Role of SATs and ACTs

Like many high school seniors last spring, Georgia native Jaydon Dennis applied to many colleges in the hopes of gaining admission. One decision he had that past senior didn’t have to worry about is whether to include his SAT score on the application. 

 “I liked the schools that requested test scores because I felt like my scores reflected my intellect more than my GPA did,” says Dennis. He chose to send his scores to certain schools but refrained from sending his scores to others due to the fees required to do so. 

There are many factors that go into whether or not one decides to submit their scores, or will make a point to apply to colleges that do not require test scores. 

Rising high school seniors from all over the country are just beginning their journey through the lengthy college admissions process. Between essays, recommendation letters and resumes, applying to college is not an easy task. Many students have already completed the first step of this journey by taking the SAT and ACT. 

As some schools move to become test-optional, colleges have been putting a larger emphasis on the different areas of a student’s application. As standardized testing is appearing to play a smaller role in the admissions process, many are left questioning the future and importance of the ACT and SAT. 

Wade LaFontaine is the Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Georgia. UGA has refrained from continuing to be test-optional after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as LaFontaine explains, these scores are still pertinent in the admissions process. 

“Standardized test scores are supplemental to our review, but do add some context to the student’s performance,” says LaFontaine, “It allows us to understand that the student is not only great in the classroom but a good test taker as well.” 

Although many universities continue to require test scores, others have become test-optional. Rumors about the motives behind test-optional schools are common. Many believe that they are using this as a tactic to increase applications to bring in more money to the institution.

Although every university has its own reasons for putting certain policies in place, it is important to remember that “test-optional” does not necessarily guarantee an increase in applications. 

“During Covid, we were test-optional. It was the first time in history since we’ve started requiring tests that even if someone had an SAT or ACT score, they weren’t required to submit it,” says LaFontaine, “Even being test-optional, there wasn’t as much of an increase as you think there would be without having a test be required.”

Not every college is prioritizing financial gains during the admissions process. The University of Georgia is an example of an institution that values quality over quantity. 

“We want the best applications, not the most,” says LaFontaine. “We don’t want to be seen as a state adding extra applications for application fees to increase revenue. Our goal is to provide education to as many students as possible, but to also make sure that they’re successful.” 

Some colleges argue that they are test-optional because they believe that it is more important to see what students accomplish during their high school career as opposed to a single test. 

Just because a school requires test scores doesn’t mean that they haven’t developed a similar mindset. “Our university will be in a good position to have amazingly high achieving students with or without test scores,” LaFontaine says.

The SATs and ACTs aren’t everything they once were when it comes to college applications. However, the likelihood of these tests disappearing for good is still a long shot and extremely unlikely to happen anytime soon.    

“While schools may become more test-optional, ACT and SAT would be likely to adjust,” says LaFontaine. “Any business that is a business of that magnitude that has a national reputation will likely find a way to continue to be part of the higher education landscape.”