WEB EXCLUSIVE While randomly searching her name on Google, junior Cece Giarman stumbled upon her name in the New York Times 2016 Editorial Cartoon Contest, realizing she was one of four Convent students who placed in the competition.
Last year’s Sophomore Class entered the competition as part of their English unit on social inequality, focusing on gentrification in San Francisco. None of the students, including senior Lizzie Bruce who entered on her own accord, were aware that their cartoons were recognized.
“I remember thinking a while ago that I was surprised that nobody won,” sophomore English teacher Rachael Denny said.“The New York Times didn’t contact [the students]. It just got published and there was nothing to announce the winners — that was a little bit upsetting.”
The New York Times is not permitted to contact students through the email provided with their cartoon, according to Katherine Schulten, editor of the Learning Network, a New York Times organization that runs the contest. The winning submissions are published with the assumption that students will look for the results themselves.
“I forgot that I ever did this,” junior Laura Bourne — who was not aware that her cartoon was a runner up until she was asked to be interviewed — said. “I wasn’t trying to win a contest, so it was definitely unexpected.”
Denny gave her class the assignment of drawing their own editorial cartoons in hopes of continuing the conversation of oppression and allowing students to understand the purpose of learning oppression, according to Denny. In addition to the cartoons, students also submitted an editorial.
“My cartoon was about how people buy houses in places like the Mission,” junior Sophie Mack, whose cartoon received an honorable mention, said. “Then they complain about the homelessness problem when they’re taking away houses from those very people.”
Denny said she did not require this year’s sophomores to submit cartoons in the 2018 contest, but she plans to have students submit editorials.
“I was surprised because I did it last year and I didn’t hear anything about it after I finished the cartoon and submitted it,” Mack said. “I was happy though. It was nice to be recognized.”