Candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election

Nyra Pasha

News Editor

   Over 450 candidates have already registered with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2020. While the elections are still a year away, politicians are preparing their campaigns to ensure their best chances of running. The question is, who exactly are these candidates and what are they planning to do if they are elected?

    The current president, Donald Trump, has confirmed that he will be running for reelection in 2020. He is currently the dominant Republican candidate running, but Bill Weld, the former Governor of Massachusetts has made some strides with his campaign. However, his chances are slim to win the election given the strong hold Trump maintains over the Republican party and  those who elected him in 2016.   

    Several Democrats are committed to running and beating Trump. This includes Eric Swalwell, who is focusing his campaign on gun control policies, Mike Gravel who also ran in the 2008 presidential elections. The 88 year old Democrat is bringing attention to issues of direct Democracy, nuclear proliferation and non interventionist foreign policy. Bernie Sanders is also in the race again for the next election.The self described Democratic Socialist was runner up in the 2016 Democratic primary. He is focusing on redistributing wealth and fighting inequality. Several women are candidates including Kirsten Gillibrand and Tulsi Gabbard; the latter was the first Samoan American and Hindu elected to congress. Both are emphasizing women’s issues like the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment.

    There are several presidential candidates for the 2020 election, each having their own political views and beliefs. While it is too early to determine the final candidates, campaigns have begun to form. It is important to be knowledgeable about possible presidential candidates.


Jude Hilton, Black Holes: Photographed!

Two weeks ago, on April 10th, humanity made a huge step in the field of astrophysics. For the first time since Einstein theorized their existence in the 1900’s, society has photographic proof of black holes exist. This was no small feat, the picture alone being so massive that it was impossible to send over the internet, and had to be flown on massive servers across the ocean to be presented to the public. In the 1990’s, an astrophysicist named Sheperd Doeleman began to organize a program that would ultimately lead to last week’s achievement. Over the course of several decades, the program which eventually became to be known as “The Event Horizon Telescope”. The movement began to grow in popularity, funding, and progress. Raising over forty million dollars, the project gained support from countless institutions and organizations, all of which were dedicated to capturing an image of the ever elusive black hole. The process of taking the picture itself was exceedingly complex; with dozens of powerful telescopes from around the world taking massive amounts of data from a singular black hole which was thousands of light years away. All of this data was then compiled, and the “Event Horizon Telescope” team began the arduous process of compiling said data into a complete picture. As complicated of a process it is by itself, the team also had to ensure that no amount of human error would end up affecting the picture in any way. After all, the goal was to create an accurate depiction of a black hole; not a human being’s depiction of one. They did this by having multiple people work on compiling the picture, and having computer simulations run their own versions of the data, to ensure they had not made any errors. The computer simulation created a similar image to the one humans had created, so the team knew that they had not made any errors of bias. This whole process took several months. The picture itself, while a bit blurry, represents a leap forward in the study of astrophysics that confirms one of the most significant astral bodies ever theorized about. All of this support, time, and money finally paid off on April 10th when, despite insurmountable odds, and the tremendous scientific challenge the likes of which had never been overcome, the Event Horizon Telescope team proudly announced to the world that they had in fact managed to take a picture of the ever elusive, colossal celestial body.

An Update on the College Admission Scandal

Nyra Pasha

News Editor

A few weeks ago the media was abuzz with news of the college bribery scandal, Operation Varsity Blues. This scheme involved 50 people charged for involvement in bribery and cheating to get students, including those of public figures and celebrities, into prominent schools such as USC and Harvard. Fake test scores were sent to the universities and some applicants involved in the scheme pretended to be on sports teams to get accepted to the schools. Parents including Full House’s Lori Loughlin, Jane Buckingham, and Gordon Caplan, paid large sums of money to ensure the admission of their children.

    The results of this scandal will take several years to repay, but those involved have already begun to see the consequences. Hallmark refused to continue to work with Loughlin who starred in the drama series When Calls the Heart. Her daughter who has a significant following on YouTube, Olivia Jade Giannulli, will reportedly not return to USC. The college also rejected six applicants allegedly involved in the scheme and are not allowing students who are already enrolled to register for the next semester. Harvard University fires the head sailing coach, John Vandemoer, after he pleaded guilty to accepting a $500,000 donation from an anonymous student for helping her get accepted. Thirteen people including Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty and face multiple fines and the possibility for up to 20 years in prison. Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty and are going on trial soon. This scandal shocked country and has brought light to the conspiracies of college admissions along with the general inequity gap in the American education system.

Earth Day

Juliana Malfitano: staff writer

Celebrating every known living organism on is earth is not a daily occurrence; it is quite limited. However, once yearly there is a day where the beautiful Mother Earth is glorified for all it provides its children. This holiday, Earth day, falls on April 22nd every year, and it was established to encompass the many positive aspects of this world. Earth day was created in 1970 during the large environmental movement that was occurring at the time. It was made by the U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson wanted to focus on educating people so they could keep the earth clean. Nelson’s goal was to inform Americans of the Earth’s deterioration due to oil spills, air polluting factories, pesticide, etc. He made it a bigger idea for people to care about the environment, to this day, people still participate. It is a day people are made aware of the Earth’s issues and they can view the Earth as a blessing, Today, the Earth is enduring far more hurt than in its past: climate change, extreme ocean pollution, and large amounts of wildlife extinction. People need to learn to be aware of the issues the Earth faces, and they can also learn how to minimize these problems if possible. For Earth’s future, it is hoped that society will move towards a greener, healthier planets.

Lassiter’s Alcohol Awareness Assembly

Nyra Pasha
Staff Writer
Lassiter’s Alcohol Awareness Assembly
A few weeks ago, HOSA, Science National Honor Society, the Future Physicians club, and Computer Science club hosted an assembly regarding alcohol awareness. The assembly discussed the issues and legal repercussions of underage drinking, as well as the medical issues it causes. Neel Iyer, the secretary of the Health Occupations Students of America or HOSA, was interviewed about his thoughts on the event. When asked about why it is important to inform people about these issues he replied, “I think it’s important because alcohol related incidents cause so many teenage deaths every year.” Every year, more than 4,300 teenagers die from excessive drinking in the United States alone. At the assembly, students were able to participate in a field sobriety test simulation.They were able to wear a “drunk suit” to experience what it is like to be intoxicated. Iyer claimed that this was his favorite part of the assembly. He explained, “Putting on the drunk suit myself was really fun. I did horrible and really understood how hard it is to even stand normally when ‘drunk’”. The assembly was informative and taught students that the effects of alcohol are too large to risk doing anything under the influence.

Academic Pep Rally 2019

Can you sing or dance? Do you enjoy performing stand-up comedy routines or acting in skits? If you have a special talent, you should audition for Lassiter Renaissance’s 2019 Academic Pep Rally! The Academic Pep Rally is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents in front of their peers in the grand Lassiter Concert Hall. If you are interested in auditioning, pick up an application outside of Mrs. Morgan or Mrs. Young’s room in the English hall. Applications are due by March 1st.

AP Exam Schedule and Registration


Day Morning Afternoon
May 6th


AP Gov AP Environmental Science
May 7th


AP Spanish

AP Seminar

AP Physics I
May 8th


AP Lit AP French
May 9th


AP Chem AP Psychology
May 10th AP US History AP Physics II
May 13th AP Physics C AP Physics E/M
May 14th AP Calc AB

AP Calc BC

AP Human Geography
May 15th AP Language
May 16th AP World History AP Stat
May 17th AP Econ

AP Music Theory

AP Computer Science

REMINDER: AP exam registration AND payments are due February 1st. Sign up today for the chance to exempt a college course and save money later on!

Armor Up Trojans

Rachel Lemmy

Blog Editor-in-Chief & Comedy Section Editor

The Lassiter School Store had its grand opening on Wednesday, October 24th. The school store is bringing back the opportunity for Trojans to armor up for school. The Lassiter School Store offers tons of great items that every Trojan will love. Students can come before school, and during ASE and advisement, to room 502 to find some gear to show their Lassiter school spirit. The hero behind the reopening of the school store is Mrs. Griffin, the marketing and DECA teacher. This is the first time the seniors will see the school store as it closed the year before they entered Lassiter.

The school store is an amazing opportunity for Trojans to support and represent Lassiter. Trojans can armor up in apparel, accessories, tech gadgets, and more. The school store also offers easily available drinks and snacks that students love for an affordable price. So when you need to buy a quick snack or drink that will get you through the day, come in and check out the new store. The students are so excited to finally see what the school store offers and they will not be disappointed. The school store is located in the business hall, and if you still do not know where that is, then you can follow the yellow arrows on the ground. Senior, Ashton Ritch, said this about the school store, “I am so excited to finally have a school store! It is so convenient.” Show some Lassiter spirit by armoring up and representing Trojan nation.

Cultivating the Minds of America in United States History

by June Jordet

News Editor


For the majority of students at Lassiter, being ignorant of United States history is very improbable, especially since it is a required course to graduate. But for the rest of America, recalling accurate facts about their country means seriously racking one’s brain. Now, even highly regarded universities including Harvard University, an Ivy League school, do not make it mandatory for history majors to have a credit in U.S. history. The increasing lack of emphasis on the importance of knowing America’s heritage could be the explanation for the staggering statistics for the amount of people knowledgeable in civic education.

According to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a government organization, only 46% of the United States population know that the Bill of Rights is the name given to the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Furthermore, only 48% know the first amendment, which grants freedom of speech. These same people who are unaware of the most basic facts about their country’s government are the same people who vote for politicians to maintain the rights they cannot remember.

United States citizens also fail to call to mind one of the greatest wars in American history, the Civil War; a whopping 50% of the population could pinpoint the twenty year span, 1840-1860, in which this war took place. Fast-forward nearly seventy years to the Great Depression, and an astonishing 51% of modern Americans do not know that Franklin D. Roosevelt headed the New Deal- a series of acts put in place to rebuild the economy in the 1930’s, many of which are still in place today, such as the Social Security Act.

It is not just America’s heritage that many are ignorant of but even considerably the largest worldwide disaster in all of history, the Holocaust. Eleven out of every hundred individuals do not recognize what the Holocaust is, and twenty-two out of every hundred millennials do not recognize it either. In addition, out of the millenials that were surveyed about the Holocaust, 41% of them believe that less than two million Jews were killed; six million Jews were put to death, not just two million. The same source of these statistics found that 96% of the same group know who Lady Gaga is. Is it not an ignominious reputation of America that more people know who a pop artist is than know what the Holocaust is?

To some, this information may seem trivial. It may appear to be simply numbers and names, but this is far from the truth. Alone, each fact just takes up space in one’s brain, sure, but if it is linked with how that fact impacts or has impacted the United States, it suddenly becomes extremely valuable. When one knows the first amendment, then that individual can be consciously aware of how voting for certain policies affects or maybe even restricts their personal rights as a U.S. citizen. When one knows the causes of the Holocaust, then that individual can be consciously aware of how a leader who abuses power can bring tyranny to a country, and he or she can work to prevent such an event from occurring once again. Simply stated, knowing America’s heritage as its citizen allows one to be a more cultivated and enriched member of society.

Race for Governor: A Turning Point in Georgia History

by Sheila Onyango

Staff Writer

Since the end of legal segregation in Georgia, the men who have occupied the office of governor have reflected the state’s political ideals. Although the first five governors were Democrats and the next for the last sixteen years were Republicans, they have all been relatively moderate. Characterized as “steady” and even “bland,” Georgia’s past governors avoided blunt and career-defining statements. They focused on more universal issues, such as education and job growth. Most notably, they gave less public support to those on the fringes of their political parties.

In sharp contrast, this year’s main two candidates for governor unapologetically appeal to the more extreme voters. Leading the Democratic Party is Stacey Abrams, a Black, female Yale graduate and former Democratic leader of the state legislature. The top candidate for the Republican Party is Brian Kemp, an agri-businessman and two-term Republican secretary of state.

Abram’s campaign targets liberal sentiments. Under her New Georgia Project, she works to register young and minority voters. She sympathizes with undocumented immigrants, stating that her “soul rests with those seeking asylum.” Abrams also plans on nullifying recently-passed pro-guns legislation, such as the “campus carry” policy, and expanding Medicaid for the poor and disabled. Meanwhile, Brian Kemp stresses conservative views. Under his Trump-like agenda, Kemp has announced his “Track and Deport” plan, which advocates for the prompt removal of undocumented immigrants from the state. He has also adopted Trump’s rhetoric when talking about gun policy and he resents Abram’s call for more Medicaid as he believes it will raise taxes, reduce job growth, and cut into superior bond ratings.

After their huge wins in the primaries, it seems that Abrams and Kemp will not alter their strategies. Last May, in a two-person primary, Abrams won 76 percent of the Democratic vote. Kemp finished second in the packed Republican primary but took a whopping 69 percent of the vote in the Tuesday runoff, besting his better-funded Republican rival, Casey Cagle.

Abrams and Kemp’s narrow appeals would not have been as successful if it were not for Georgia’s changing demography. The state, especially near Atlanta, is rapidly diversifying. The amount of registered nonwhite voters increased from 27 percent in the 1990s to 46 percent. Political analysts believe that with more immigrants and Black Americans in the population, voters are choosing candidates on the basis of culture and identity.  The effects of minority voters cannot be better seen than in Cobb and Gwinnett. The two suburban counties went from fueling Republican candidates to voting for Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump.

The growth of Georgia’s economy made leeway for people to vote based off of their cultural affinities. Since voters worry less about financial issues, they can more seriously consider politician’s stances on social issues.

The importance of culture and identity is exacerbated in the Trump era, as political ties seem to be more polarized than ever before. Ideas of left vs. right pressure Americans to lean towards either side, making it more beneficial for Abrams and Kemp to definitively appeal to the extremes.

Of course, many Georgia citizens and politicians worry that without centrism and moderacy, there is a group of “middle” voters who are not being reached.  “It would be nice if we had a more moderate option,” relents Kathrine DeLash, a pet store owner in Cobb County who doesn’t identify with either political party. She tells the New York Times, “You don’t get that with the candidates we have right now. The people who shout the most to their own people get the most attention, and it doesn’t matter what they’re saying as long as they shout the loudest.”

Former Republican congressman Lynn Westmoreland echoes her concerns, explaining, “I think the Republicans are losing the middle, I think the Democrats are losing the middle, and the middle is kind of shrugging like, ‘O.K., what am I supposed to be doing?’”

The effectiveness of Abrams and Kemp’s political strategies will not be known until November 6th. Until then, political journalists and analysts wait in anticipation in the midst of a defining moment in Georgia’s political history. For the first time in dozens of years, Democratic turnout to primaries has nearly equaled that of the Republicans. If left-leaning voters continue going to the polls, Stacey Abrams could end up Georgia’s first female African American governor. If conservatives focus their energy on Brian Kemp, the state could end up with its own miniature Trump administration.