February 22, 2013, by HM
For our third action project, we had the really interesting and cool experience of creating our own constitution together. The process began with individually creating our own amendement, using the art of abduction, that changed something about the school we weren’t happy with. After revising these, we all got together at a Haitian restaurant and voted “yay” or “nay” on all our separate amendments after presenting them to the class which eventually led to the creation of our student constitution. I’m really proud of how well we worked together as a group and how we are affectively and thoughtfully our trying to change aspects of our school to improve it. Check out my amendment below and our final student constitution here!
I propose that we get rid of Service and Blogging, two forced classes that aren’t necessarily required and could instead be outside clubs in which role they would be more effective and interesting to those who partook in them.
Result: Service and Blogging are no longer considered required classes.
Rule: Offered as after-school clubs or groups for those who have a specific interest in them.
Case: Service and Blogging are turned into clubs and as a result are more effect because the people taking part in them are much more interested and therefore hard working.
I can offer a personal anecdote on these classes and how I feel they are more or less time fillers in my day. For blogging, I can say I almost always use it as a study hall which isn’t bad, however not useful for what it’s intended to be used for. I can also confidently say my classmates use it the same way. As for service, it often feels like an extra, unnecessary stress that shouldn’t have to be my responsibility if I don’t choose for it to be. Not only that, I think my group has a hard time putting in full effort because it is more of a forced activity and doesn’t particularly interest us. I think both these classes goals are great ways to better GCE however posing them as a forced commitment isn’t going to create the outcome we’re looking for.
February 8, 2013, by JH
For our english class (A Nation’s Arguement) we had a debate on ig Germany should be allowed to colonize Africa. This debate was especially difficult because it took place in pre world war 1 (early 1900’s). I was interested in this debate because I have always loved arguing. Myself and HD were Great Britain for this debate. See our argument on why we think Great Britain had the right to colonize below:
1. General Rule
2. Particular Case
4. Quotations & Evidence for Trial
1. General Rule (Some say…)
Rule: Colonization only benefits the colonizer.
Case: Great Britain is a colonizer.
Result: Therefore, Great Britain colonizing parts of Africa was for selfish needs.
However, this deduction is invalid because Great Britain colonization helped jumpstart technology and the economy in parts of Africa.
2. Particular Case (The evidence suggests…)
Through colonization Great Britain has achieved….
1. Great Britain helped it’s own people as well as Africans to become an enriched culture.
2. We prevented other countries from taking over Europe by becoming the most prominent Colonizer (the lesser of two evils).
3. We taught advanced methods of farming and made life much easier to live.
3. Result (We argue…)
Therefore, in light of these results, we, the representatives of Great Britain and its people, urge the judges to AFFIRM THE DEDUCTION ON TRIAL AND UPHOLD GERMANY’S RIGHT TO COLONIZE, for Africa’s sake.
Rule: Colonization can benefit all parties.
Case: Great Britain (among other European countries) accomplished many technological and economic milestones via colonization.
Result: Therefore Germany, as well as the rest of Europe has the right to colonize.
4. Quotations & Evidence for Trial (Sorted by…)
Relationship to Colonizer
United Kingdom was a colonizer, they tried to colonize multiple countries in Africa pre 1914. In the picture below you can see which countries in Great Britain colonized in Africa.
“In total Britain ruled over 2,678,156 square miles of land, and rules over 44,420,000 people.”
Uzoigwe, G. N. Britain and the Conquest of Africa; the Age of Salisbury. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1974.
Authority to Rule
Great Britain has a Monarchy, they have more sophisticated weapons, a larger army, a larger navy, and overall a larger presence.
How we Rule
We rule a large portion of Africa by Military and economic force. During this time period the United Kingdom is one of the most powerful countries around.
Benefits to Colonization
We are benefitting from colonization because we are the ones ruling other people. We ruled a majority of Africa and made a lot of money by using the resources they had.
Our right to colonize
Great Britain helped Europe, as well as Africa by colonizing. We taught more advanced methods of farming, and an easier way to live. We colonized because countries like Germany started to colonize and become more powerful. If we didn’t nations like Germany would become some super power that then could start to conquer Europe. If we could control Africa we knew that we could control the power and not use it for domination like Germany would have. We were preventing wide-scaled war; doing a service to all and being the lesser of two evils.
January 25, 2013, by HD
For our first action project in the class Our Nations argument we had to amend or create a new rule from GCE’S cod of conduct. I think one of the most interesting things I learned through this action project was finding loopholes in the COC and truly understanding our COC. What was challenging for me was connecting my created rule to the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011. Overall I found this an exciting project that challenged me. It especially made me feel like a lawyer for a little! Below is my stated argument and the rule I was creating!
There is no article from GCE’s COC that I would like to amend but much rather I would like to create a new rule. It has come to my attention after recently studying the COC that there are certain punishments being enforced that are not in the COC. In the COC it states, “Unexcused tardies (20 minutes or more late to CLASS) will automatically become a 0 on participation on that class, on that day.” That right there is the ONLY article in the entire COC that addresses punishment for being late to class. There is no other article that discusses tardiness of students before the morning meetings or the disciplinary actions that would ensue after breaking such a law. So in the defense of myself, the students of GCE and the fine faculty that works here I would strongly advise a new rule to be put into the COC immediately. In this rule it simply states, no student or faculty member in this school shall have to follow a rule unstated in the COC or deal with the unlawful disciplinary actions that would ensue from this unstated rule or punishment. I see this as being extremely fair to both students and faculty. I think some students and me personally can say by first hand experience that dealing with cruel and unusual punishment because a rule that never really existed is appalling. Even in our great nations Constitution under the 8th amendment it prohibits, “excessive fines and excessive bail as well as cruel and unusual punishment.” Does scrubbing the kitchen floor and endlessly organizing the art room closet not fall under the category of cruel and unusual punishment? Yes it does! Especially punishment for a rule impossible to break because it does not exist. I thought of GCE as a democracy but how can it be with corruption like this. The belief of democracy is for all of us to be on the same level. We are all equal and must be treated the same. Democracy gives us the opportunity of free speech. The opportunity to speak out against oppression. But how can we do this if when me and my fellow students can not speak against these forced punishments without receiving an even greater punishment. No democracy makes up fake rules or hides certain rules from its citizens. Therefore I demand this rule be set in motion immediately and that all students subjected to dealing with these cruel and unusual punishments be reimbursed by other means deemed fit through an agreement by students and faculty. After this rule is passed I see only positive change in our community. There will be no way for students to be cheated again and I feel that everyone in our school would like that just as much as I would.
January 25, 2013, by JP
In my Nation’s argument class, we studied a series of protests in the Arab Spring the occurred in 2011. We then learned about what induction is. It is looking at information or data and making a conclusion based on the facts given. For our first action project we had to make amendments or changes we would like to see in our school code of conduct. Below is my changes I would make:
“Not what Isn’t”
In the GCE Code of Conduct, it states, that, regarding attendance,”In the event of a tardiness, a student or parent/ guardian must phone 312.643.0991 before 8:45am or email [email protected]”. “In the event of an absence, a student or parent/ guardian must phone 312.643.0991 before 8:45am or email [email protected]”.( GCE Code of Conduct pages 8 and 9) In the fall of 2012 GCE students and parents signed a contract to obey these rules. However in the start of winter 2013 out of no where the faculty of GCE made students do community service if they were tardy and if they were absent, to bring a doctors note explaining their reason for their absence. The faculty is making students obey rules that are not in the code of conduct. Now if they make us follow rules that aren’t in the Code of Conduct that’s not legally right. We agreed to follow what is in the Code of Conduct, NOT what ISN’T. What I propose to fix this problem is suggest two things. First make a rule where if you want to make new rules for the students to follow, it HAS to be written in the Code of Conduct. Therefore the Code of Conduct has to be updated. I would say it has to be updated at the end of each term(for it seems that’s when a new rule keeps being added). Then, just like in the past, the students can sign in agreement to it. Second, if a rule has to be added by the disciplinary council, I believe before making a final decision they should discuss it with the students and get their opinion on it. After all,don’t we live in the United States of America? And isn’t it a democracy country? With a democracy the people have a say on what happens and that being said the students should have a say on the rules. If the disciplinary counsel decides to make my amendment official things at GCE will change, or should I say, go back to the way things used to be. In our U.S.Constitution the preamble clearly says:” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice…..” That’s exactly how GCE used to be. A school where justice was at its peak. The teachers did not make us follow rules that were not in the Code of Conduct. And that is the way it needs to be again. If the teachers have students follow rules that ARE in the Code of Conduct and NOT what ISN’T, students will have more respect for the teachers and the school as a whole. In conclusion, on January 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians protested against President Hosni Mubarak because they did not like how they were being treated. They expressed what they did not like and actions were taken to get the issues they wanted resolved. My hope is that by expressing how I feel about GCE’s new `rules’,actions will be taken for a more justified system.
January 25, 2013, by DC
In my English and History class we have been studying Induction through the revolutions known as the Arab Spring. For this Action project I used information that I learned from the American, Egypt, and Tunisian revolution and protest. With what I’ve learned about laws, rules, amendments and results I created my own amendment to my school code of conduct. I learned a lot about the way different types of governments are run and the process that one has to go through to amend, change, recommend, or appeal something. I am proud of the way I was able to break down complex world changing things as well as the language of the constitution into simple rule, case, result terms. I had fun working on this action project as well as seeing the amazing things my peers have came up with. Below is my project enjoy!
I have a problem with the dress code but I know that we have it for a reason. I also realize that it will be very hard to just get rid of it. So I want to take an approach that I read about pertaining to the Arab Spring with the Moroccan government. “The king has been heralded as a great reformer, having been able to offer an alternative path to deeper democracy without inviting outright revolution” (MCMANUS,Allison L. September 2012. ‘Arab Spring’ Moroccan Winter) Similar to the way they decided to slowly move towards a new government, I want to move towards a new and better more efficient dress code. One that not only keeps the school a safe place but also doesn’t hinder self expression. As we are all very unique in every way as a community. I want start by addressing parts of the dress that I believe shouldn’t be included.
4. No gloves, bandanas, head wraps, headphones (unless it was permitted in class by the
instructor) or sunglasses are permitted to be worn during class or GCE group activities. If any of these have to be worn for specific reasons, a written letter supporting such exception should be presented to the DC by the students parent/guardian. NOTE: head garments are allowed as long as eyes are cleared and it does not disrupt the learning environment.
Gloves, bandanas, head wraps, glasses, and any other extra layers are acceptable as long as they follow the guidelines of the dress code of amendment 8.
Case: Recently weather in Chicago has been up and down. The heat hasn’t been working properly in building G. This has resulted in students having to wear more layers including hats, gloves, scarfs, etc.In the book I read the girl had a similiar problem with her school uniform that prohibits students from wearing comfortable clothes that they believed weren’t appropriate for girls.
“She proceeded to shear her school trousers, thus severing all her ties with the educational system and confirming the impossibility of a return to it. She cut them up to her knees so as to stop people from opening their mouths, even though she knew they would anyway.”[SHIMON,Samuel 2010. Beirut 39]
The rule should be changed or omitted from the dress code because it doesn’t make sense for students to have to ask for permission to bundle up or keep warm. Similar to article three section two of the constitution the dean will have full power of judging whether or not the extra layers follow the regulations of then dress code amendment 8.
January 25, 2013, by GL
In my A Nation’s Argument course we are learning about inductive reasoning and how to use it in an argument. Inductive reasoning is the process of obtaining general principles from particular parts or instances. We then figured out how to find inductive reasoning within our U.S. Constitution and the book Beirut 39. For our action plan, we looked through our own school’s code of conduct. We found issues we thought were unfair and then, using inductive reasoning, wrote our own amendment to change the rule. Over all, this project taught me a lot about the art of arguing. At times, I did have trouble remembering what induction actually meant, but towards the end I got the hang of it.
Amendment about Food & Water rules;
The Code of Conduct (before my amendment):
Food: No food is allowed during class or in the classrooms. Snacks are welcome and allowed between classes and/or during lunch time (in the hallways or in the kitchen ONLY). Students are allowed to buy food or drinks during school hours, only on the school premises (vending machines at Menomonee).
Drinks: water and/or drinks are welcome, but only using student’s GCE reusable bottle. Lunch will happen in the Lunch/Kitchen area only. A student Captain will be assigned for the day (See Lunch schedule and duties on page 8). It is the responsibility of each student, not the Captain, to clean up after him/herself.
The Code of Conduct (after my amendment):
No food is allowed during class time, but while on class breaks students are allowed to snack, but only if all computers are a reasonable distance away from all electronic devices. Water, coffee, and tea are welcomed during class, but only if all electronic devices are off the table or a far enough distance where they can not be harmed if something does spill.
I believe that students should be allowed to eat during class break. Many of us are too busy to eat breakfast or need a snack throughout the day. Of course all computers would be on the other end of the room, so no one will risk the chance of destroying someone’s computer. This rule is not enforced enough and I believe we should be allowed to drink water, coffee, and tea in class. If someone is sick they should be allowed to drink something warm to soothe their throats, plus a little tea and or coffee would be nice if student’s energy levels are low and they want something warm or other than water. This rule should only be allowed if no computers are around the area in which it can harm the computers. These rules should be followed and all students should take FULL responsibility of one’s actions.
Democracy is a form of government, which allows all eligible citizens to have an equal say of decisions that affect their lives. If we talk about an example of a democracy, we can look at the school. We, the students, would be the “eligible citizens” and have a right to speak up if we don’t agree with something. Eric, our director, then usually asks us to write a proposal as to why we don’t agree and what we can do differently. This way, we are allowed to have a say in what’s happening in our school environment. However if a student were to accidently spill on someone’s device, they’ll have to pay for the damages. This way the students become more aware of their surroundings, and teaches the students to take complete responsibility for their action.
Similar to the short story I read in Beirut 39 which was called Skin of Shadow by: Alderrazak Boukebba. In this story, there is a boy, Dhiab, who also has to take responsibility for his actions. Dhaib is forced to make a pledge saying that he will not leave his small town until he dies. Knowing the consequences of his actions, he said no he would not make this promise. His village leaders tied him up to a tree on the outer edge of the town. He then realized that since he believed in something his leaders didn’t he could only get freedom if he accepted his punishment. In this case Dhaib is taking full responsibility for his actions. In the twenty-first amendment you will find’s similarity between the rules for the code of conduct as well as in Skin of Shadows and how they all resemble the fact that you have to take responsibility for your actions. The twenty-first amendment states “Alcohol is legal. Each state can make laws about making, selling, and drinking alcohol.” By doing this all states will have to be responsible for ticketing and arresting those who break laws while under the influence.
January 24, 2013, by JH
For my english class (A Nations Argument), we were given the task of looking through the GCE Code of Conduct (CoC) and picking a rule we wanted to change. This was an amazing task because we are (possibly) going to change our school by adding, changing, or removing something from our CoC. The hardest part for me was trying to connect the U.S. Constitution and the Arab Spring. I’m looking forward to seeing if anyone in my class goes the extra mile to trying to implement the rule, I know I will!
Read the report on what I did below!
Insubordination: A student will respect the directions of any staff member. Examples of insubordination include failure to comply with direction or instruction of a staff member, refusal to work in class, refusal of detention, refusal to participate in in-school alternatives, and refusal to report to in-school suspension.
GCE Amendment (my edited version)
Insubordination: A student will respect the directions of any staff member, although they have the right to respectfully discuss the topic at hand. Examples of insubordination include failure to comply with direction or instruction of a staff member, refusal to work in class, refusal of detention, refusal to participate in in-school alternatives, and refusal to report to in-school suspension.
I feel that with this new rule it makes our school more democratic. With this rule currently in place, teachers have the right to tell you to do whatever they want without being questioned (if you were to question them, you could get in trouble according to the CoC). With this new rule in place, students have a right to respectfully have a discussion about the topic if they find it to be unfair, ridiculous, etc.
In Saudi Arabia citizens are too scared to speak their mind or share their opinion because they can be thrown in jail, or killed. Our case isn’t nearly as terrifying, but not being able to share our opinion is a huge problem.
Why This Rule is Needed
With this rule in place (for example), Tim could tell us to sit outside in the cold for thirty minutes while he takes a nap. If any students were to say no, or to try and convince him otherwise you would be breaking a rule in the CoC.
Life with the amendment
With this amendment in place in the GCE Code of Conduct, students know that they are able to have a conversation with a teacher if a disagreement takes place without any repercussions.