Vidar Hageman '16 is currently attending the University of Virginia. In mid-December 2019, as the senior class president at Warwick Valley High School in Warwick, New York, Vidar wrote an open letter to the people of Warwick, raising awareness of an issue he was deeply concerned about. "That issue is the potential installation of two turf fields in the school district." He raised several questions that had to be addressed, including:
"Why 10 million dollars are being spent on athletic improvements?"
"Why does the music program have to beg for auditorium improvements, overall funding and support for years only to have their wishes tied to the aspirations and success of the athletic program?"
"Why do necessary improvements for sanitation and the auditorium have to be tied to aesthetic improvements for the athletic program?"
"Warwick historically is a farming town and one connected to its environment. Is adding turf not just another step to taking future generations away from their environment?"
"Why are there not discussions of potential alternatives like corkonut infill, sod, the addition of sand or improved irrigation?"
"According to a Penn State study , turf fields get up 55 degrees hotter than the actual temperature. On just an 80 degree day the field could be unusable, how does that equal 24/7 use as cited by the administration?"
"Why has the student body been kept in the dark, with the exception of a couple pictures and a white board?"
He summed up his letter by stating,"Without proper precautions Warwick’s culture and environmental integrity is potentially at stake. I urge the people to vote their conscience and in the best interest of the community on December 18th."
We followed up with Vidar in January 2020 and we were proud to hear that "the turf was voted down, as I advocated for, by an almost 2-1 margin 64%-36%."
In addition, Vidar received a Certificate of Recognition for "outstanding accomplishments in the area of Citizenship". This was part of the 2018 Sojourner Truth Awards Program for select middle and high school students in Orange County, New York.