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Administration to offer religious accommodations for Good Friday classes

By Finn McGillivray

News Editor

When Dan O’Malley ‘22 first heard that there was going to be classes on Good Friday this year he couldn’t believe it. “I was like that can’t be true,” he said. “It just kept bothering me and I was like we have to make it not a normal day. At least something to acknowledge that it’s Good Friday.” 

Jeffery Trumobower, vice president for academic affairs, explained in an email the school’s decision to hold classes on Good Friday. “We are only holding classes on Good Friday this year, for the first time in my 31 years here (probably for the first time ever), as a matter of public health, because we did not want to foster the conditions incentivizing students to leave and return to campus in the middle of the pandemic.” 

O’Malley, who is an active member of the VITA peer ministry team on campus understood the rationale behind the decision. “I understand they didn’t want long weekends, I understand you think people will go home,” he said. “That all makes sense, but like I said, I just think the Catholic identity of our school takes that precedent.”

O’Malley decided to make his position known through a letter to administration as well as an online petition, which asked that classes be suspended during the hours of 12 to 3 p.m. “There’s a darkness over the land in the Gospels from those hours, and usually, any Good Friday Services will take place from 12 to 3 p.m. or at 3 p.m. during that day,” O’Malley said. “I was thinking that if we can’t have the day off and rest and fast like we’re called to do as Catholics, that that would at least be some kind of compromise that I think would acknowledge the needs of the faithful here, but also protect the safety of everybody from COVID and going home.” 

Many students agreed, with the petition garnering 145 signatures by the time it was sent to members of the administration Friday, March 19. By Monday, March 22, the school had issued a response to Dan O’Malley.  

Jeffery Trumbower explained that while canceling classes with such short notice would be disruptive to professors, the school will be making some accommodations.  “Acknowledging the petition, however, we do recognize that as a Catholic institution we should support those students who wish to spend a portion of that day in prayerful reflection,” Trumbower said. “Therefore, we are drafting a message to all faculty who are teaching this semester requesting them to show consideration for students who ask to observe this solemn day from noon to 3 p.m.”

O’Malley said he was still a little disappointed by the school’s response, and he encourages students to spread the word about the accommodation, as the announcement will only be going out to faculty. “If you hear about it I highly encourage you to take it even if you’ve never stepped foot in the Chapel,” he said. “Maybe that’ll be the first day.”

Fr. Brian Cummings, director of Edmundite Campus Ministry, said that while he is delighted with the petition and subsequent response, that he was consulted about the decision to schedule classes that day. “I supported the fact, given the pandemic, that we would have classes as usual on Good Friday in this rare instance,” he said. He also stressed that while the hours of 12 to 3 p.m. do have an important scriptural significance, the time in which people choose to do devotions is very much up to the individual. “it’s important to realize that the entire day is a holy day,” he said. “12 to 3 is a great traditional time to pray and to have devotions, but so is 9 in the morning, so is 9 at night.”

“For those who practice their faith on a regular basis and that this is an important part of their faith life, I would encourage them to do that,” Cummings said with regard to whether or not students should take advantage of the religious accommodation. However, he also noted that even in a normal year, not everyone is able to take the day off. “I think it depends on one’s devotion, and that’s a personal decision.” 

“We can be safe and encourage people to stay on campus and celebrate our Christian faith together,” Cummings said.  “And the emphasis I think should be coming together as a community at four o’clock as opposed to personal devotions which you really can do any three hours of the twenty-four-hour day.” 

Edmundite campus ministry will be holding a Good Friday service at 4 p.m. April 2 in the chapel. 

Faces & Places

Photo Column by Ashley DeLeon

Executive Editor

On Thursday, March 11, St. Michael’s alum, Andre LaChance ‘82 of Essex performed “Amazing Grace” at the View on campus for Father Mike Cronogue, who passed away in 2016. Andre recalls the kindness and acceptance that Father Mike embodied during his time at the College.

Andre performs in the St. Andrew’s Pipe Band, who plays at St. Michael’s commencement each year. According to Andre, this was his first time ever playing the bagpipes outside.

In addition to having graduated from St. Michael’s in 1982, his father is also an alum from the class of 1955.

By Connor Torpey

Arts & Culture Editor

Despite the impacts of COVID and the cancellation of art festivals like the South End Arthop, the gallery in the McCarthy Art Center continues to show excellent works of art, from students and professionals alike, and is open to members of the Saint Michael’s College campus community.

The McCarthy Art gallery is located inside the McCarthy Art Center and has featured Senior Capstone projects from art and design majors all semester. The gallery is curated and directed by Associate Professor of Art and Design, Brian Collier, in collaboration with faculty, staff and students. A new student exhibit is featured each week, and by the end of this semester a total of 14 different exhibitions featured will be featured, six of which have already been displayed. These exhibits feature all sorts of art mediums, from paintings to sculptures and everything in between.

On March 10, 2021 Matthew Stackhouse’s ’21 art for his senior show, “Way Home” hangs on the wall of the McCarthy Art Gallery.

Last week “Way Home” by Matthew Stackhouse was displayed. This display featured two large squares made of different materials. In Stackhouse’s artist statement he said “I have always been fascinated by architecture and interior design. As a child I would fill graph paper notebooks with floor plans of my dream home, even drawing labels for what furniture would go where. This work is an attempt at incorporating natural materials into a formal artwork for an ‘at home setting.’” Using materials either found or reused, I have created these scapes where the mind is free to wander. I wish for those who look at my work not to see it, but be seen by it, and become a part of the environment which is created.”

“Momentum Zero” by Kiara Garrity is on display from March 15 to 21 which features sculptures made out of rock, wood, rope, and glass. Kiara Garrity an Education and Art and Design double major, said she was inspired by the small rocks surrounding the Sloan Art building, and thought they would be good material to focus her piece around. “One theme you can notice throughout my pieces is balance. I like to work with gravity and I often rely on it a lot. The structures that I build to support my sculptures are often not the sturdiest. Although this creates a lot of stress and anxiety for me, I like being able to make sculptures on the verge of collapse. I am influenced by the materials I find and the pressure that comes from the short window of time that I had to create new sculptures for senior studios,” she said in her Artist’s Statement.

For more information on the McCarthy Art Gallery check out their website. https://knightsite.smcvt.edu/mccarthygallery/

By Glosherberg Associates

Contributing Writers

INT. Restaurant – Night

[Glosherberg enters the Hard Rock Cafe in Pope County, Arkansas. For some reason, Glosherberg thinks it’s a bar and this HRC doesn’t serve alcohol. The bar is still Nashville, TN themed. (Big Elvis vibes) The body bag is already sitting down at the bar, it has an Elvis tux and wig. Glosherberg walks in and sits down next to it.]

GLOSHERBERG
(Turns to body bag)
You come here often?

[Camera turns to the body bag and waits for a response… there is no response]

BARTENDER
(confused but not shaken. He is a weathered man.)
What can I get for ya, sir?

GLOSHERBERG
(Fully confident that this sounds right)
I’ll have a Piña Colada, hold the pastrami.

[slaps down Legoland card]

BARTENDER
First off, this is a Legoland card that expired in 2003. Secondly, we still recognize the 18th amendment, this is a non-alcoholic Hard Rock Cafe.

GLOSHERBERG
(Reaches into the body bag for a bottle of Merlot)
Fine, I’ll just serve myself.

[Steve Harvey enters and sits down next to Glosherberg]

(Stunned by his beauty)
Say, what’s a good looking woman like you doing in a place like this?

STEVE HARVEY
(In Family Feud voice)
Survey says… my wife left me and I’m drowning my sorrows.
(Steve Harvey is drinking from one of the school cartons of milk)

GLOSHERBERG
Marital problems? Boy, do I know about that. But anyways, how are you going to spend this fine Arkansas evening?

STEVE HARVEY
Look buddy, I think you’re a little confused

GLOSHERBERG
Oh I’m not confused at all, I know exactly what I want

STEVE HARVEY
I think you’ve had a little too much to drink there (points at wine)

GLOSHERBERG
Oh, this? This isn’t wine, this is just fermented Flavor Aid that sat in my basement for four years

BARTENDER
(Leans in while washing a glass; with a cheery voice)
Fun Fact: They actually drank Flavor Aid at Jonestown, not Kool-Aid

GLOSHERBERG
(Realizing he has to go to the bathroom)
Oh boy, this showerhead’s about to burst. I’ll be back sweetheart.
(Glosherberg hurries off to the bathroom)

STEVE HARVEY
(sounding defeated by life)
Randy, I think you’re gonna need to bring out the real stuff

BARTENDER
You got it, boss. (Puts down eggnog at the bar)

-End Scene 8-
INT. Hard Rock Cafe Bathroom
[Glosherberg is in the bathroom at the dry Hard Rock Cafe. It is a very nice and well-kept water closet. There is Francisco de Goya’s “Saturn devouring his son” located in the restroom. Glosherberg is in a stall and the painting is located on the ceiling]

GLOSHERBERG
(looking at the painting)
Gee, that’s depressing even for me… man, I miss my son.

[Glosherberg gets a phone call]

Who could this be? It’s my son. (apathetic) Ugh, maybe later.

[Glosherberg listens to message that his son for him]

GLOSHERBERG’S SON (GLOSHIE Jr.)
Hey Fatha, it’s Gloshie Jr. (Junior pronounced Junia) I was just calling to let you know that my butter’s gone missing again. And I bought the big two-pound bucket. I would’ve gone to the next aisle for the four-pound container, but some people were wearing masks and staring at me every time I sneezed. I was like, “jeez, ever seen a guy with allergies before?” Anyway, I just wanted to keep you updated on the butter situation. Also, I thought you should know that I’m getting hitched in a couple of minutes, she’s really into the postal service, one of those Reginald – Fairbanks Childs types. Alright dad, have fun visiting grandma, love ya.

GLOSHERBERG
Jeez, what a kiss-ass, just like his old man

[Glosherberg looks up at the ceiling]

I wonder if de Goya had daddy issues (proceeds to flush toilet)

[Steve Harvey walks into the restroom, looking for Glosherberg]

STEVE HARVEY
Hey buddy, are you in here?

[The shot focuses on Harvey as you can audibly hear Glosherberg continuously flushing the toilet and saying “courtesy flush” each time. Glosherberg exits the restroom.]

GLOSHERBERG
(surprised and touched)
You followed me into a men’s bathroom? This must’ve been exactly how the Beatles felt

STEVE HARVEY
Look, man, I just came in here to tell you that I am a man. I have a mustache, I have a bald head, I am a guy!

GLOSHERBERG
(excited)
I know, you remind me of my mother!

STEVE HARVEY
(frustrated)
Also, I don’t know how you haven’t picked up on the fact that I’m Steve Harvey. You know, the guy on Family Feud, I have a talk show, I’m always on morning television.

GLOSHERBERG
Oh, I thought you looked more like Oprah than Steve Harvey but I guess it’s up to you who you resemble ma’am.

STEVE HARVEY
(angrily, but still smiling, walking towards Glosherberg)
Son, I’ll have you know that I was an autoworker, an insurance salesman, a mailman, a carpet cleaner, a nurse and a boxer. (raises eyebrows at Glosherberg)
GLOSHERBERG
(intimidated, now backed up against the wall)
Di- D- Did you say you were a mailman?

STEVE HARVEY
(stops in his tracks)
Son, do you mean to tell me that you are more scared of the fact that I carried postage than that I could knock you out with one punch?

GLOSHERBERG
(Feeling more confident)
One woman doesn’t scare me, Oprah, I’m only scared of the federal government. Ya know, that Mail deo et paria stuff and all that crap.

STEVE HARVEY
(Squinting and pointing his finger)
Who told you the postman’s code?

GLOSHERBERG
(standing up for himself)
I’ll never tell you, you dirty nurse.

[Glosherberg runs back into the stall and tries to army crawl towards the exit. But Harvey catches him and they start to fight, but neither of them is particularly good at fighting.]

[During the fight Glosherberg turns on a faucet and throws water at Harvey]

STEVE HARVEY
Jokes on you, I don’t have hair.W

GLOSHERBERG
What? Wh- huh?
[Steve Harvey attempts to smash Glosherberg over the head with a toilet bowl cover, but it was the toilet seat and has no effect]

This look reminds me of the tux I wore to my fourth wedding.

[Glosherberg grabs a guitar hero style guitar off the wall of the bathroom and starts trying to play it. The Family Feud theme starts to play. Glosherberg thinks of the sweep the leg moment from Karate Kid]

GLOSHERBERG
This is for you Ralph Macchio
{He uses the guitar to sweep Harvey’s legs and make him fall to the floor]

[Glosherberg throws a guitar at the mirror and scurries off, taking the guitar pick with him(pausing very quickly in a sort of oh cool, a guitar pick, sort of moment)

[Glosherberg does the mime-style stair walk towards the exit, except he is just doing it in the middle of the restaurant,he becomes greatly confused]

GLOSHERBERG
(Panicking)
How do you get out of this maze?

-End Scene 3-

INT. Car – Night

[A hooded figure (Looks a bit like the emperor from Star Wars) and Steve Harvey are sitting across from each other in a moving limousine]

POSTAL LEADER (hooded figure)
[In a deep voice, clearly altered]
Is he taken care of?

STEVE HARVEY
He got away sir.

POSTAL LEADER
(Enraged)
What?! How could this happen? You were supposed to stop him!

STEVE HARVEY
Sir he’s not like anybody we’ve dealt with before. He knows the code.

POSTAL LEADER
(In a devious manner)
Well, Steve, looks like the Feud is getting another 5 seasons.

STEVE HARVEY
(scared)
No, you can’t do this! You don’t know what it’s like out there. They make me conduct the surveys. Did you know that I had to stand outside a Kroger and ask people what their favorite place to “get it on was”? I was pepper-sprayed 97 TIMES.

Greetings again faithful readers! Thank you for reading another thrilling chapter in the Glosherberg saga! Will Glosherberg reconnect with his son? What does the Postal Service planning? What is my favorite color? Maybe all will be revealed next issue! Maybe not though! I guess your just going to have to keep reading to find out!

By Finn McGillivray

News Editor

According to Federalist No.51, “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” With the news of six women now accusing him of sexual misconduct, it is easy to see that Andrew Cuomo is no angel. Yet, if you were to tune into any of the major news networks covering him in the previous year, no one could fault you for believing he was.

In response to those very accusations, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo began his March 1 show by saying, “Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother. And, obviously, I cannot cover it, because he is my brother.” Considering the media is an essential external control on government, it stands to reason that news anchors shouldn’t cover their immediate relatives, especially ones surrounded by scandal. However, on several occasions in 2020, Chris Cuomo did exactly that.

Cuomo’s original scandal, which is what led prominent members of both parties to call for Governor Cuomo’s impeachment and removal of emergency powers prior to the first allegation of sexual harassment, was his coverup of COVID data. The data in question was the NY Department of Health’s reporting of COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes. The Cuomo administration failed to count nursing home patients who obtained COVID in nursing homes but were moved to hospitals before their death, under this category. According to a Jan. 28th report, it was this practice that led the New York Office of the Attorney General to conclude that “COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent.”

This troubling finding was made worse by a damning admission from Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa in a closed-door meeting with Democratic lawmakers on Feb. 10, 2021. When asked why it took the administration so long to provide Trump’s Justice Department with the true number of nursing home deaths, she stated that they weren’t sure if it was “going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” according to a transcript of the meeting.

Why was the Cuomo administration so determined to keep this data from public view? After all, though the numbers may have been off by thousands, the only thing in question was where these individuals died. The answer dates back to March 2020. The pandemic was beginning to take its toll, and places like New York were bracing for shortages of resources and hospital capacity. It was in response to this problem that Governor Cuomo issued an order, stating, “No resident shall be denied readmission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. [Nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.” The obvious problem with this policy, as was noted at the time in a statement from The Society for Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine, was that it was “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles.” The Associated Press now estimates that under this order, over 9,000 patients were sent back into nursing homes with COVID.

In the months following the order being quietly rescinded by the Governor in May 2020, the story didn’t go away, although the mainstream media never cared to cover it. The continuous stream of New York Post articles from the time proves as much. Yet, the Governor continued to hide nursing home deaths throughout the summer and fall, all the while ignoring requests to make the data public. He even had the audacity to write a book touting his success in fighting COVID (hardly the actions of a man who feared being held to account).

On May 20, 2020, the day after Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called for an investigation into the Governor’s handling of nursing homes, Chris Cuomo used an interview with his brother to perform a prop-comedy bit making fun of the size of his nose. The following month he would go on to thank the Governor saying, “I hope you feel good about what you did for your people because I know they appreciate it.”

Later in October, while members of the New York legislature were busy collecting signatures for their petition demanding the Governor disclose the full nursing home death numbers, Cuomo was shamelessly promoting his book on various networks. On his appearance on “The View” Wendy Williams referred to it as “a guide to how to deal with this pandemic.”

Why was the media so determined to hold up Cuomo as an incredible leader in the fight against the coronavirus? This was made clear during the recent Emmys in which Governor Cuomo was hilariously given an award “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.” In a video compilation featuring various celebrities all thanking the Governor, comedian Billy Crystal said “In the darkest days of the pandemic your daily briefings, live from New York, gave us hope, gave us clarity, gave us the truth, and gave us something we were not getting from Washington: leadership.” I think it’s fair to say that this sentiment mirrors that of the Democratic Party, and subsequently the media which so often carries their water.

In the same meeting in which she incriminated the Governor, Melissa Derosa said in response to why the Cuomo administration ignored requests for data from the DOJ “The letter comes in at the end of August and right around the same time, President Trump turns this into a giant political football. He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes.” In other words, because it would serve to help President Trump politically, Cuomo’s administration couldn’t possibly disclose the fact that their policies likely led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of seniors.

Considering how blaming hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths on Trump was the key platform of then-candidate Biden’s campaign, it’s easy to see why the idea of anyone else being at fault was never even considered by those on his side of the aisle. From the beginning of the pandemic, Cuomo emerged as the anti-Trump for those who wanted so desperately to see President Trump fail. Once he had been branded as the “Luv Gov.” (an unfortunate nickname in hindsight), and with some including Trever Noah and Ellen DeGeneres even calling themselves “Cuomosexuals,” there was no going back on the narrative.

My point is not to defend any of Trump’s actions on COVID, but rather to point out how our media’s casting of heroes and villains created an obvious blind spot. As our country continues to become more divided, we are quickly losing the ability to police our own sides out of fear that such actions will benefit our opponents. Over the past year, many have rightfully expressed disappointment in the politicization of an issue that originally seemed so easy to unite against. While certain politicians have had a hand in this, it was our media’s unwillingness to call balls and strikes which doomed us from the start.

Just as it was true in 1787, our government is administered by men over men. The Cuomo story reminds us that even during times of crisis, there are no angels.

By Peyton Edwards

Staff Writer

In a world where our new normal is through a screen, students and professors have had to learn to adapt when everything changed at a moment’s notice. The inside of a classroom is now a brand new scene. This new era is causing classrooms to be completely rearranged, measured out so that desks are exactly six feet apart. Nevertheless, some professors at St. Michael’s College and around the country have chosen to teach in an online setting, for personal or medical reasons.

“Saint Mike’s is so well known for the small classroom experience… that, I don’t think anyone can replicate in this time,” said Elizabeth Peterson, instructor of Education. Peterson has been teaching virtually since March 13, 2020. “There has to be a certain emphasis on the social component because it is so much harder to get that through a screen,” she explained.

People have very distinct learning experiences, even though everyone is experiencing the various difficulties of COVID-19. “All of the inequities that have already existed in education which are substantial, just were magnified,” Peterson said. These inequities often affect people with disabilities, black and indigenous people of color, and those with limited access to technology and resources to be able to learn online, she said. In contrast, those with access to better technology, resources, and a better economic situation would have an easier time with learning online, Peterson noted.

Matthew St. Pierre ’23 recalls that the transition from in-person to virtual classes over Zoom had proven to be a very challenging task. “The difference is pretty extreme. I find that even in classes I’m interested in, I’ll get distracted,” he said. Many students have been feeling the effects of what some people call “Zoom fatigue,” and have yet to find a way to combat it. “The myriad of challenges they are facing, it’s too much,” said Tara Natarajan, dean of Faculty and professor of Economics. It is good news for students that many professors understand the effects of Zoom fatigue, mainly because they are also experiencing it themselves, she said.

On the other hand, online classes can have its benefits. “Having everything online gives you the opportunity to get ahead on work. If you can get ahead on things, that’s really going to help you make things less stressful later on,” St. Pierre said. In an effort to get students back in the classroom, some professors have chosen in-person classes to provide a more authentic experience for students. This has been a big step in transitioning back to normal, but there are still many obstacles. “The fact that we wear masks makes it close to impossible to read people’s expressions,” Natarajan said. In classes where there must be discussions, presentations, or group work, body language and facial expressions are crucial in evaluating the emotions in the room, and masks alter that in a way that we never would have thought, she explained. Masks have a way of inhibiting our ability to interact with each other in ways that we used to, and “when you sit down with a mask for a long time, there’s a kind of weird exhaustion,” she explained.

As hard as it is to navigate online learning, people may not know how much planning went into getting the College to this point. Natarajan was part of a planning committee for the College last summer, and figured out how classes and in-person activities would work. She invited faculty and staff from different departments, and led the team to formulate guidelines and plan for teaching during a pandemic.

After this planning, Natarajan, along with Allison Cleary, Kristen Hindes and Anne Crowley, organized two full-day professional development panels and workshops in July to brainstorm ideas and learn how to teach courses online. One of the workshops specifically focused on “Awareness of Student needs” which covered topics like mental health, race and ethnic inequalities, and learning differences in the classroom.

In addition, IT hosted approximately 16 workshops related to educational technology. “These workshops provided training and development for redeveloping our courses to be taught in new modalities while being both nimble and agile to be able to shift to virtual teaching on a moment’s notice,” Natarajan stated in an email.

In these workshops, the goal was “to think about what we are experiencing, what do we need to be thinking about, and what is the vision,” she said. The College community has been very fortunate in that the technology is accessible to us here, and that professors were prepared for this more than in other institutions, Natarajan explained.

Professor Thomas Meyers, who currently teaches a mixed-model first year seminar in which students both in class and on Zoom meet together said, “I will say there’s definitely some anxiety about making sure that the students online are feeling part of the class.” “It is sometimes frustrating when one or two students can’t log on” he expressed with regard to the unconventional class, but said “I had a lot of faith that it was going to work and it has.”

Although this time has taken a toll on most people in some way, there are many benefits that have come out of what was at first a very daunting situation. “It is important during a stressful and confusing time like this to take time to focus on yourself and take care of yourself. Exercising, getting good sleep, doing things you enjoy, and maybe even trying meditation,” St. Pierre said. The College community is slowly transitioning back to a busy and bustling life, so taking time to work on your mental health is critically important. “I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am throwing logs on it,” Peterson said.

We have become so accustomed to the world of Zoom, where one does not have to be attentive 100% of the time, that the shift back into the classroom is proving to be a challenge for some students, said Natarajan. “It is so hard to keep them on and engaged, especially with masks,” she explained. This new taste of reality may prove to be a challenge for many people that have been stagnant for the majority of the past year.

By Bobby Grady

Staff Writer

Everyone knows the feeling of being awoken by the sound of a ringing alarm clock, but not everyone knows what it’s like to wake up at 5 a.m. to the crowing of a rooster. But Maria Lacroix’23 and her suitemates are familiar with the sound of a rooster crowing because her rooster Romeo made sure everyone was up for class on his first night at St. Michael’s.

Romeo is a Serama chicken, which is the smallest breed of chicken in the world. He has a bluish tint to him, and his red facial features stand out along with his yellow beak. These types of chickens only weigh up to 19 ounces and stand to under 10 inches tall.

He is on campus as an emotional support animal for Lacroix. Lacroix wanted a rooster as an emotional support animal, because she had been raising chickens since she was in middle school and has always really enjoyed them.

“I just decided that I wanted to have a pet rooster,” explained Lacroix. But don’t think that just because Romeo is a rooster that he can’t fulfill his role the same way a dog might. “He has a little personality just like a dog, he likes to have pets just like a dog, he likes to have a bath and he likes it when I hold him on his back and just kind of help him float,” she said.

Romeo is a loveable little rooster who likes to walk around with Lacroix, who makes sure that he is taken care of and happy. Romeo has his own rabbit cage, which Lacroix described as “good sized.” “It’s like a little condo for him,” she said.

It is no secret that chickens poop quite a bit. “I just kind of deal with it. I just have to follow him around and if I see it on the ground I pick it up. We go through a lot of tissues and toilet paper,” Lacroix explained. Despite the messes that Romeo leaves behind Lacroix’s suit mates don’t have any issue with him. “We love Romeo,” said Kai Hines ’23 who lives with Lacroix and Romeo.

College life for Romeo has not been too difficult thus far, but getting him on campus was a struggle for Lacroix. “I probably started it [getting Romeo on campus] the Fall of freshman year,” Lacroix said. Right away she knew that dorm housing wouldn’t be enough space for Romeo. After getting into a suite in the LGBTQ+ housing in Canterbury Hall, she had to move because one of her suitemates was allergic to birds, she said. It wasn’t until Lacroix moved into a suite in Cashman this semester that she was able to get Romeo on campus.

Brian Lee, assistant dean of Students and director of Housing Operations, said that in order for a student to get an emotional support animal on campus, they must reach out to the Bergeron Wellness Center.

“The first step is for the student to provide the appropriate documentation from a provider that they need the emotional support animal, ‘’ Lee explained. “Once the student is approved to have an animal, our office [housing office] will reach out to students in the immediate living area to notify them. Those students have 48 hours to raise any concerns or objections to the animal being in their living space. If there are no objections, the animal is approved and we will send the student the appropriate forms to complete, and register the animal.”

Lee also explained that there are normally between 45 and 50 animals on campus.

“It’s important for students to know that the animal will be living in a college residential setting, and to make sure they think of that while selecting their animal,” Lee said. “Also, college students have a lot going on and having the animal is an additional responsibility that they are taking on,” he explained.

Another important piece of information that he shared was that an emotional support animal cannot alter housing operations. An alteration to housing operations could be anything that changes the normal daily operations of the residence halls.

Courtney Spaulding is a clinical psychology graduate student at Saint Michael’s who combines her abilities learned through her studies in psychology and her experience with animal training and behavior to help students with any questions they might have about emotional support animals. According to Spaulding, an ESA is “any species of animal that provides comfort to one or more people, normally in a housing establishment.”

It’s important to note that an ESA is not the same as a service animal. A service animal receives extensive training over several years and an ESA does not. But just because these animals aren’t specially trained doesn’t mean that these animals are an ordinary pet.

“It requires a special type of animal to be an emotional support animal,” explained Spaulding. “For example, a dog would have to be able to recognize the handlers emotions but not internalize it and mirror it in a negative way.”

Ever since the pandemic began, the number of ESAs on campus has increased because of increased isolation resulting from COVID-19. Spaulding went on to say that animals are wonderful at providing comfort for people.

For many years, emotional support animals have assisted many people in their daily lives. Ever since the start of the pandemic, the need for emotional support animals has risen and people find emotional support in all kinds of animals. Lacroix and Romeo are just one example of how people and animals can bond to form strong relationships.

By Robert Cattanach

Staff Writer

In the middle of the 2020 spring semester, all athletics were placed on hold due to the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic. Less than a year later, on Thursday, Feb. 15, the Northeast-10 conference announced the resumption of NE-10 competitions this spring being kicked off by the Women’s tennis match as it had been the longest the school has gone without an athletic event since World War II. Nearly 25 percent of St. Michael’s students play sports at the varsity level, while another 40 percent take part in club sports or other programs, according to Christopher Kenny, Director of Athletics at Saint Michael’s College.

The physical health of athletes is also taken into consideration. The athletic training facility has undergone a variety of changes to ensure that athletes get the best care possible, while still adhering COVID regulations. The former “social hub” has a reduced capacity, and began requiring appointments. Alternate locations are also provided to prevent overcrowding. This whole process has been very challenging but the Athletic department has done what they could to ensure a safe return to play for all students Kenny said.

The confirmation of a spring season provides a change in pace for both student athletes and coaches. Coaches have been working extremely hard to adhere to the COVID regulations while ensuring effective practices for the athletes, which includes distanced and sanitized locations for gear and equipment and limited person-to-person contact.

Overall, students are eager to start playing this spring. Mary Kohn ‘24, of the Saint Michael’s College Women’s Lacrosse team, is “…super excited to get the stick back in the hand,” she said.
Like all teams on campus, Women’s Lacrosse was subject to a series of phases, each of which permitted different levels of contact. Currently in phase 3, “the team is allowed to all practice together with contact in order to prepare for the upcoming season which begins on March 20 at Southern New Hampshire University,” Kohn said.

Students are not allowed to attend home games, but live streamed videos will be available for people to watch.

Women’s Lacrosse is not the only team moving through the phases. After talking with Saint Michael’s College Men’s Rugby Head Coach Kevin O’Brien it became very clear that no matter the level of contact if the right measures are put into place, return to play can be achieved. Although the team is not affiliated with the NE-10 or National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) the team still follows all protocol, regulations, guidelines and standards of the organizations. Through social distancing and proper sanitation, the team moves through different phases of play, each of which permit different levels of contact. As of Saturday, March 13, the team has entered phase three, which allows them to “…work on unit skills as well as technique with very limited contact,” O’Brien said.

Although much is uncertain for future games, the coaching staff and players are hopeful for at least one game this semester against the University of Vermont’s Men’s Rugby team. This game would act as a memorial to UVM’s former head coach, Declan Connoly, who passed away last year.
According to O’Brien, the team is hopeful for the upcoming semester while adapting to a new normal.

After a year without sports, athletes are eager to start playing again after a year in quarantine. It has been a very troublesome time not knowing the fate of their sport, when for many it is the reason they came to Saint Michaels.

By Hannah Bishop

Staff Writer

DREAM, or Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring, is a program that matches college students with children living in affordable housing developments in the community. To an outside eye this may look like a group of kids running around Tarrant or grabbing ice cream in Alliot, but to the community and mentors, DREAM is so much more. Described by Ryan Johns, the Vermont DREAM youth service program manager, DREAM is an organization that is constructed into two tiers, an academic engagement and community support tier, and a village mentoring tier.

The academic engagement component is primarily supported by AmeriCorps members who come into the program with a specific focus in supporting community members while the village mentoring tier is supported by college students. Aside from swiping past Rosemary in Alliot and exploring campus, the DREAM program provides real life support to these children and their families, ensuring they are connected with the resources and lasting relationships that they need as they navigate life. According to Johns, AmeriCorps members work on the ground to support these families in various ways.

“Academic support can look a lot of different ways, it can look like getting them a bicycle so they can have an outlet and they can have fun, and then they can focus on their homework,” explained Johns. “It means helping their mom get a social security card, it can also, and most frequently does mean, sitting down and doing homework with kids or getting in touch with teachers to find out what these kids need,” he said.

The second component of DREAM and the component the college campus is exposed to most is the village mentoring program. Described by Tim Strzepa ‘22, a DREAM core team leader and mentor, DREAM is “a fun experience outside of school that gets you involved in the community and helps you establish connections outside of school and make an impact in the local community.” As one of the four core team leaders, Strzepa is in charge of planning and orchestrating meetings with the kids and mentors, and setting up “DREAM Fridays” where the group gets together on or off campus to spend time together.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DREAM program has been forced to change the way the program is run. As a result, contact between mentors and mentees has been shifted completely to a virtual setting, and some mentors haven’t been able to see or even make in-person contact with their mentee’s in a year.

“We would hang out every Friday in person with the kids, so we would actually bring them here on campus or we would go off campus and do specific activities that we had planned,” Strzepa said.

Now mentors and mentees have been forced into a completely virtual program. According to Strzepa, this makes things a little tricky because some kids do not always have access to computers or ways of communicating with mentors. Consequently, Strzepa along with his colleague core team members have had to reevaluate the program and implement new ideas to connect mentors and mentees.

“We’ve kinda reshifted our focus for the semester and we now have three or four major meeting days…we’ve shifted to mentoring that is more focused on writing letters and dropping off goody bags to the kids,” he explained. “So it’s a lot less physical interaction and a lot more behind the scenes work, but were doing the best we can.”

Behind the scenes, the core team has been working hard to ensure all mentees and mentors are feeling supported during these difficult times. Some of the main ways mentors have kept a line of communication is through letter writing and handpacked bags with notes of encouragement that are safely delivered to the kids.

“One of the biggest challenges honestly has been keeping up with mentor morale and keeping folks engaged,” Johns explained. “So just maintaining that support and morale for folks at a time when they’re dwindling.”

Although the group has faced their fair share of challenges, they are still holding out hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. Danielle Butler ‘22, a DREAM core team leader and mentor, explained how she has been able to keep herself going through these hard times.

“Just knowing that I’m making a difference in a kids life too, it gives them something to look forward to, and that makes me push myself,” Butler said. “If they’re excited to be a part of DREAM I’m gonna give it my all.”

This being said, she understands that it is hard on mentors as well as mentees, as some have reached out to their kids on a regular basis without reply.

“We have a lot of young kids without their own phones, so it’s definitely challenging because you don’t get a response from them, but just sending the letter and putting in the effort and letting them know we’re still here for them is a good feeling,” she said.

One of the major successes DREAM has experienced this semester was their first big mentoring Zoom meeting where the group welcomed the mentees who joined for the first time.

“We actually had kids show up for the first time which was very exciting. We tried to have a few last semester but it didn’t work out, so we kinda shifted to a different way of communicating with the kids and we had 5 or 6 mentees come on and it was a really fun and exciting time to see them and interact with them again,” explained Strzepa.

Even so, Strzepa admits that some of the participants have lost interest in the program due to the lack of in-person activities and other COVID challenges, but he still believes the efforts of the program have been a success.

Ryan Johns, the youth service program manager agrees. “Although we have lost some folks, there is still a core group who is doing what they need to do and are attached and ready, so I’m not concerned and I think not being concerned at this stage is a success,” said Johns.

By Justin Shay

Contributing Writer

On Feb. 16 and 17, the Data Collection group of the SMC Covid Action Network (CAN!) distributed a survey seeking feedback from students about their experience with the new Covid-19 testing procedures. The response from the student body was incredible.

The level of confidence associated with a study is a function that depends on the population of the group being surveyed, as well the sample size. St. Michael’s College has a student body of around 1600 undergraduates, so to achieve a 99% confidence with 5% room for error, an appropriate sample would be 469. We received over 500!