No More CCWs?: Opinion Editorial

Angela McKinzie ’21, Assistant News Editor

Disclaimer: This article is not saying that the Oakland Catholic Administration is getting  rid of CCWs, it is just a look into people’s opinions on the situation. 

 

Throughout the school year, there have been silent murmurs that are now becoming too loud to ignore anymore. Even though it has not been at the forefront of students’ minds with exams, essays, and assignments, it always creeps up on every Wednesday morning amongst students. The issue? CCWs. 

At the beginning of the year, it already felt slightly off with it being every other week, but now it has escalated to once a month, or what feels like none at all. On the rare occasion we did have them, it seemed like there were always mandatory sessions prohibiting us from joining any club sessions. To give an idea of what I am referring to, here is a list of CCWs throughout the year thus far from a Junior perspective: 

September 2019  2 CCWs on the 11th and 25th  Every other week 
October 2019  2 CCWS on the 2nd and 23rd  2 weeks apart 
November 2019  2 CCWs on the 13th and 20th  2 weeks in a row 
December 2019  2 CCWS on the 4th and 11th  2 weeks in a row: 

Hour of Code on the 4th

Junior Mass and Safe2Say Something Meeting on the 11th 

January 2020  No CCWs except on the 29th  None: 

Career Symposium 

February 2020  1 CCW on the 5th  1 week: 

Argument Forum on the 5th 

March 2020  1 CCW on the 4th  1 week: 

COVID-19 quarantine has played a role in this decrease 

 

Even though the specific dates for mandatory sessions may vary between grade levels, the general decrease in CCWs overall is awfully apparent when put into a timeline such as this one. Now, the issue is not in that we have sessions that the administration deems necessary, for this is one of the reasons why we have CCWs; However, it is more so that there is already a small amount of CCWs, so to have some of those sessions be “taken away” it feels like an insult to injury. To add another layer to this, the scheduling of CCWs have been almost erratic with them changing between every other week, to being two weeks after each other, to them being two weeks in a row. This inconsistency also causes issues for us students, for we do not know when we are actually having them, which is necessary in order to sign up. When I asked current sophomore Michaela Weismantle how she felt about this decrease and inconsistency, she said, “I like the decrease in CCWS this year, but I think they would be better if we knew when we were having them and when new ones were posted before they all fill up. Also, when we do have them, it would be nice if we could have a couple of the same sessions so that everyone could be able to enjoy them.” 

The integral role of clubs and activities at Oakland Catholic takes shape in just how involved some students are with some having three or more clubs under their belt. Actually, the amount of opportunities OC has is the main point they advertise to transfer students when they come to tour the school. Even on the website they boast, “OC offers 35 Clubs and Activities ranging from academics, health and fitness, cultural and global interests, and more!” Having the time to meet with these clubs during CCWs is just as important to us students, for most of us cannot stay after school or they have sport practices at that time. Furthermore, the decrease in CCWs is beginning to disrupt communication with clubs that have competitions outside of school, such as the Speech and Debate team or Model UN. Without consistent meetings, it makes it harder for more members to know what is happening and what they need to do in the club. This predicament has left the winning Policy debater Olivia Smathers ‘21 with a few remarks on the subject: “As a member of the Speech and Debate team, we found that having the extra practices every Wednesday morning were incredibly useful for maintaining engagement and attracting members who can’t stay after school due to sports or Masque. Without regular CCWs this year, those people couldn’t participate.” 

Another plus to CCWs is how transferring students or incoming freshmen view them because it is a new, different practice that makes OC unique and stands out from other high schools. When I transferred to OC at the beginning of last year, I loved the idea of CCWs and how they were during the day because it takes into consideration those who do not have the transportation to get to OC. The current junior Olivia Marangoni ‘21 agrees with me when she says, “Whenever we had shadows and the teacher would ask for something that we like about OC, without fail someone would mention CCWs. One of the main draws for me and I think for prospective students of OC is the ability to participate in a lot of clubs and activities without needing to drive. Even if you live really far or do a sport or have a job, you can still take part in clubs that matter to you.” 

Looking outside of clubs and activities, CCWs create a space where students can study for exams coming up or to just have a moment of rest in the morning. Oakland Catholic stresses excellence in academics from each student and wants each one of us to excel in practically everything we do, so having this time to breathe lends itself to better mental health for the students. Beyond this, some teachers hold CCWs as a way to touch base with students for assignments or essays to make sure they are staying on track. Other teachers enjoy making fun CCWs as a way to introduce something different to the OC community like Yoga sessions with Mrs. Bielich or science experiments with Mr. Graner! Always busy with a heavy course load, 

Dalila Weismantle ‘21 says, “Having CCWs more frequently gave me time to better organize myself, especially in terms of core classes. Being able to get some extra guidance during the day without trying to fit a meeting with a teacher into my schedule after school was extremely convenient.”

CCWs are more than just two hour sessions that make our Wednesdays to run on a two-hour delay schedule. They create opportunities for students to connect with those they are similar with and show them new sides to themselves in the activities they participate in.