May 6, 2024

Our past three editions

April 29, 2024 AI-generated news • Air pollution • Cicadas

April 22, 2024 Book bans • Jane Goodall • Taylor Swift

April 1, 2024 Birth control • Colorado River • Beyoncé


Pro-Palestine encampments form on college campuses

Discuss responsibility of student press, learn safety measures

On college campuses across the country, pro-Palestinian protesters have been forming encampments for the last few weeks. In many cases — like at Columbia University, University of California Los Angeles and University of Wisconsin Madison — those encampments have been broken up by police and protesters have been arrested. 

Hundreds of people have been arrested, though many have been released, according to the New York Times

What you can do —

In many cases, student journalists have been on the frontlines of covering these protests. In some instances campuses have been fully closed to non students, leaving student journalists as the only reporters on scene. Student journalists are also uniquely situated to cover on campus protests — they have deeply developed source relationships and know the campus better than any outsider. Columbia’s WKCR radio station is the prime example of this: when mainstream media had trouble accessing campus April 30, WKCR was the primary source of live information. 

Some student journalists have faced intense backlash and even been attacked during their coverage. At the University of California Los Angeles student reporters were followed, slapped and sprayed with irritants, CNN reported. At California State Polytechnic University Humboldt, three journalists were detained and one was arrested, CNN reported.

While your school likely isn’t seeing protests at the scale that universities are, it is important to know how to safely and responsibly cover protests. The Student Press Law Center has a resource list to check out, should you ever find yourself in this situation.


Lack of El Niño climate phenomenon offers glimpse at summer conditions

Spotlight community efforts to prepare for intense weather

Every year the El Niño natural climate pattern has widespread effects around the world. El Niño is characterized by warmer than average ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, while El Niña is when the water is cooler than average. 

This year, forecasters think these ocean temperatures will hover close to normal by June, CNN reported. According to the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña will build in early summer.

The effect El Niño or El Niña has on weather in the United States isn’t simple, CNN reported, but during other similar summers, temperatures have been high. In both 2016 and 2020 — years with La Niña conditions — the summers were some of the hottest on record. 

What you can do —

It isn’t summer yet, but talking to scientists and meteorologists about what may be in store could be an interesting story. According to NOAA data reported by CNN, all but parts of four states will likely see warmer-than-normal temperatures. This can have widespread effects on animals, agriculture, naturally occurring plans and much more. 

El Niño and El Niña don’t happen in isolation — there are also larger trends at play including climate change at-large and precipitation predictions. If your area is predicted to experience higher than average temperatures, look into what your city or school is doing to prepare for the effects of heat. 

What’s viral

More schools are locking away students phones during the day

Identify effects of in-class technology, gather opinions

Two years ago a middle school in Connecticut banned phones. Every day when students enter Illing Middle School their phones are put in rubber pouches, the Washington Post reported. Once the lock clicks shut, it stays closed until school is dismissed. 

The pouches are made by a company called Yondr and last year 2,000 schools across the country were using them, the Post reported. Students and staff who spoke with the Post said that though the transition to no phones was hard for some, it has been overwhelmingly positive overall. Students are connecting in person more and staff are noticing higher attention levels in class.  

What you can do —

Even if your school hasn’t officially banned phones, there likely is some sort of policy in place. Talk to teachers and students alike to see if phones are helpful in the classroom or are a hindrance. It could be interesting to talk to administrators and members of the counseling team to see what effects they think phones have on students. 

See what methods for limiting phone use administrators have thought about — would your school consider using a product like Yondr? Do teachers think it would help?


It’s always membership season

Don’t be left out this year, nominate members year round — including freshmen

It’s our busiest time of the year. Make sure to nominate students for membership order pins, cords and other Quill and Scroll materials and memorabilia now. 

Don’t forget you may now recommend freshmen for membership. We made this bylaw change in February after requests from several advisers.

We haven’t changed the ordering process from last year. For those wanting to ditch the paper version, you just need to select the form based on how you would like to pay. We have one version for credit card and another version for check or purchase order. (We’ve added buttons for ease of finding these.) As usual, credit card payments are charged $4.49 per order for processing. 

Additionally our mail service is sporadic at best. It can take up to three weeks to process and send an order during this time. 

> Start the process here.

Workshop set for June 24-27, in Dallas

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop returns to the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria June 24-27, 2024, with bonus classes on June 23. Workshop registration is $140 per student or adviser.  The extra cost for the Sunday bonus class is $20 per person.

In 2023, 680 students from 85 schools took advantage of the instruction from our exceptional faculty. Watch the workshop website for additional 2024 workshop details as they become available.

> Watch the preview video for 2024.

YEC open for entries

Looking for something to do after the yearbook deadline and before distribution? Enter the YEC!

The 2024 Yearbook Excellence Contest is open for entries. The cost for each entry in all 39 categories is $8, and schools will be divided by size — Class A for 1,000 or more students, and Class B for 999 or fewer students,

Entry deadline is Oct. 2, and here is a link to complete descriptions of those 39 categories.

Judges will award first, second and third places in each category for each class, and they’ll award honorable mentions so that between 10 and 15 percent of all entries are recognized in every category. All students named as award recipients will be eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll student scholarships in May of their senior year.

Quill and Scroll administrators will then tally points (5 for first place, 4 for second, 3 for third and 1 for HM) to determine a Blue and Gold Award winner for each class. Last year’s overall winners were Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (Class A) and Christ Presbyterian Academy of Nashville, Tennessee (Class B).

Here’s a complete list of last year’s winners.

Final scroll

This is our final Scroll for the 2023-24 school year. We will resume publishing next fall in early to mid September. 

Just a thought

Thank you for being part of Quill and Scroll this year — and more importantly, thank you for all you do daily for journalism students.

I appreciate all you’re doing to further journalism education. If there’s something we can do to help you, please let me know. We would love to hear about your needs.

We hope to develop a few new items during the summer to help you with your chapter.

Don’t forget to encourage your students to apply for our Student Advisory Board. It’s a great way for them to have input and be involved nationally. The application is available now.

Have a great rest of your school year, and I hope you enjoy these last few weeks with your students.

I wish you all a restful and relaxing summer.

— Lori Keekley