Tom Brady (Finally) Retires

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

Growing up, who did we think of as the best quarterback in the National Football League (NFL)? Who was the guy that even when his team was losing, you knew he still had a chance? That man was none other than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, better known as Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time. Commonly referenced as the GOAT. While you can argue with that opinion, and there are some pretty good quarterbacks in history that you could argue for, you can’t argue with the statistics. According to, the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots played in 318 games, threw for 84,520 yards, and scored 624 touchdowns. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you he is the best; he is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and a five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP). That alone is ridiculous, the fact that he has only been to the Super Bowl and not been the MVP of it two times. He has been to the Pro Bowl 15 times, an honor which is given to players nominated for having the best seasons that year. No other quarterback has done what he has in NFL history, and he will certainly be in the NFL Hall of Fame the first chance he can be inducted into it, in five years. If that doesn’t convince you that he is the greatest, I don’t know what will.

As of February 1, 2022, Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement from the NFL. He has decided to hang up his cleats after 22 unbelievable seasons, playing 20 seasons for the New England Patriots, the team who drafted him, and playing his last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is much speculation as to why he decided to retire, with many people making the argument that he still had a couple more years left in the tank. While no one but Brady knows for sure, of course, roster injuries, upcoming contract situations, and teammate drama on the Buccaneers could have factored into his decision. It is certainly thought that he could have played for at least another year, and many agree with this narrative. 

As if Brady retiring is not crazy enough, there was some drama about his retirement going public. On January 29th, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s highly regarded senior NFL insider, broke the news that Tom Brady was retiring. This turned the entire sports world upside down. Media pages were putting together montages of Brady’s career and everywhere you looked, the news of Tom Brady calling it a career was front and center. Only it wasn’t true. News broke later that day that Brady had, in fact, not made his decision and informed the Buccaneers General Manager that he had, contrary to what the media had leaked, not retired. With the sport’s world on edge, Tom Brady finally announced his retirement two days later. This time, it was for real. All the drama was seemingly for nothing. 

Aside from Tom Brady being the GOAT, he has provided all of us with a sense of inspiration that we incorporate into our own lives. As mentioned early, Brady was the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the draft, so it wasn’t exactly like he had the pedigree to be a starting quarterback in the league. The Patriots already had a quarterback and drafted Brady as a backup plan. Instead of getting angry that he was taken so low in the draft, Brady continued to work to be ready for any opportunity. Forced into action due to injury, the rookie out of the University of Michigan took his chance and ran with it. He never gave up the starting quarterback job.

This is what we should incorporate into our lives, the determination to never give up. In life, you need to take advantage of any opportunity, just like the greatest quarterback of all time did.

World Leaders Meet to Discuss Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Emmanuel O. Son, Staff Writer

Description: People taking part in the Unity March demonstrating Ukrainians’ patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia. Photo Credit: Idrees Ali ( @idreesali114 ) on Twitter

As tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to go back and forth, some world leaders have stepped up their talks on how to combat the conflict peacefully. Meetings come as many fear a Russian invasion of Ukraine and a potential war that would break out as a result of that. French President Emmanuel Macron has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow while President Joe Biden is hosting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington.

With Russia hosting more than 100,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine, many have accused the country of planning an invasion of sorts, which Russian officials have been denying. Tensions between the two countries are happening again almost eight years after Russia’s annexation of the Southern Crimea Peninsula in Ukraine and a rebellion that took place in Donbas. 

A US official has also warned Biden of Russia potentially invading Ukraine. President Biden and security advisor Jay Sullivan have advised any Americans that are in Russia or Ukraine to leave. Biden has threatened to shut down and stop Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipelines in Russia as a protest against the country. “If Russia invades again, there will no longer be longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring it to an end” Biden said. White House National Security advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with ABC News and stated that the US is currently seeking a diplomatic solution. “Putin has put himself in a position of military diplomats to be able to act aggressively against Ukraine at any time now” Sullivan says. However, neither the President nor any other US officials have stated how their solution would be done, only answering when asked, “I promise you we will be able to do it.” Concerns of the issue are also coming at a critical time as the Olympic games continue to push through in Beijing. Sullivan mentions the importance of preparation as intervention could happen either during or after the Olympic and Paralympic games. 

BBC is reporting that officials in Moscow are demanding that the NATO Military Alliance bans Ukraine from ever becoming a member, as well Ukrainian troops be brought out of eastern Europe. NATO has declined Russian requests and is now suggesting other solutions, such as lowering the use of weapons. Russia has also accused Ukraine of failing to enforce the Minsk Agreement, which is the international deal that would restore peace to the East in areas where Russian rebels control territory, sponsored by Germany and France. In 2014, 14,000 people had been killed in those areas. 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that any confrontation with Russia would lead to a “full-scale war”. After speaking with U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Zelenskyy has warned that war that involves Ukraine would affect the whole continent of Europe. The President has stated that if a war were to break out, it would not necessarily be a war between Russia and Ukraine but of the whole European continent. “This will be, unfortunately, a tragedy if the escalation against our state begins.” “No one will give up their territories and people anymore,” he stated in a press conference. During the week, the President signed a decree which would increase the military armed forces by 100,000 over the next three years. 

The Associated Press is reporting that the Pentagon has ordered that 3,000 US troops be sent to Poland to reassure allies. President Biden and Putin are set to hopefully talk to each other in hopes of discussing the crisis together. Biden states that although troops are being sent over, there is no direct plan to go to war in Ukraine, but to serve economic sanctions against Moscow. 

The Biden administration’s plan on the handling of the Russia Ukraine situation has been met with some criticism. The Daily Mail reports that Alexander Vindman, a former White House staffer and Ukraine policy expert who oversaw the Trump administration’s handling of Ukraine, has criticized Biden for acting too late on the issue. Vindman has stated that a Russian invasion would look bad for the United States and its most important European allies. “The senior policymakers didn’t seem to come around to this threat until really quite late” he tells Yahoo news. He argues that the United States should have already been helping out the Ukraine military with advancing military capability against Russian moves. Vindman’s criticism came after Biden has threatened that there would be no Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. 


New Updated NCAA Covid-19 Guidelines

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

What do we do, or have to do now? With the start of the spring semester now upon us and in full swing, Saint Martin’s athletics are continuing or starting back up! As teams come back together for practice and competition, people are wondering how the rise of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant is coming into play and how things are being accounted for. We all need to continue to stay safe and protect ourselves and others through these unprecedented times. Right now, are all trying to figure out how to do so.

With the uncertainty surrounding the new developments of the pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released updated Covid-19 guidelines to try to bring about some ease during these anxious months. Saint Martin’s University, along with all other NCAA-affiliated schools, has adopted these guidelines and have already begun implementing them throughout the athletic department. 

A large part of this update is that the NCAA has adjusted its definition of “fully vaccinated” individuals. Earlier in the pandemic, being “fully vaccinated” meant that individuals had either received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine series, or the Moderna vaccine series. The vaccine series for Pfizer and Moderna means that individuals have had both doses of the vaccine. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, individuals only need to get one dose, because it is different than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Per the NCAA’s update at, now to be “fully vaccinated”, individuals need to be either within two months of receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series, or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series. In addition to this, if student-athletes have received the vaccine earlier than the described windows above, they must have received a booster vaccine to qualify as being “fully vaccinated.” Finally, student-athletes who are within 90 days of a Covid-19 infection qualify as equivalent to being “fully vaccinated” because they now have the antibodies and won’t get it again for a while.

The second major part to come out of the NCAA’s update is the change in quarantining and isolation periods for student-athletes who test positive for Covid-19. Earlier in the pandemic, the quarantine time for individuals who tested positive was ten days. Per the update, the quarantine time has been cut in half, down to five days as long as the student-athlete has no symptoms or their “symptoms are resolving.” After those five days, the NCAA suggests the individual masking around others for five more days, except during athletic activities which follow a negative test. 

As for isolation, fully vaccinated individuals who have come in close contact with someone who tests positive do not have to quarantine but are suggested by the NCAA to wear a mask when not participating in athletic activities. Unvaccinated individuals, on the other hand, should still quarantine for five days if they come in close contact with someone with Covid-19.

This is a systemic change, as before student-athletes did not need a booster vaccine to be considered “fully vaccinated”, and they only needed to have the regular doses. The other big change here is the quarantine period has been cut in half, allowing student-athletes to return to the field and the classroom earlier than before.

These new updates are important to follow because the NCAA is not creating guidelines on its own. It is following the guidelines which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has laid out. The NCAA’s update is merely bringing these new guidelines to the world of college sports.

Although the guidelines have changed, the overall idea hasn’t: do what you can to keep you and others as safe as possible.


The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) logoVia:  NCAA (@NCAA) / Twitter

Inslee Electric Car Mandate

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order on November 3 that will require state-government cars to all be electric by 2035. The Kent Reporter reports that the order was announced in an international submission in Glasgow, Scotland, which focused on creating ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Executive branch agencies will be required to buy battery-powered cars to replace current passenger vehicles. Light-duty trucks will also be required to be replaced by electric vehicles. 40% of the existing fleet will be required to become electric by 2025, 75% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. In 2040, mid-heavy-duty vehicles will be all a zero-emission fleet.

A spokesperson for the governor, Tara Lee, states that in total, about 5,000 state vehicles will be a part of the new changes. Inslee has suggested that plug-in vehicles be available, if not battery models. These requirements will apply to 24 agencies in the executive branch, as well as State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Corrections, and Social and Health Services. These agencies will be required to come up with their plan on being able to comply with the new order. OPD reports that the first agencies transitioning to an all-electric form of transportation are the Liquor and Cannabis Board, the Office of Equity, and the Traffic Safety Commission.

The Governor is also leading a coalition of 68 different leaders across cities, states, and foreign municipalities that are trying to cut emissions in half by 2030 and to get net-zero by 2050. Inslee has declared this coalition the “super nationals,” reasoning that they are going to set the bar for many national governments on this issue.

According to the Kent Reporter, Inslee has admitted to this plan being costly. However, he argues that while the transition will be expensive at first, the plan overall will save the state money and will be a better impact on the environment. A spokesperson states that the legislature is working to obtain funding to supply the electric vehicles and charging stations to go with them. Inslee has declared his goal of all new vehicles being sold in Washington to be zero-emission by 2035. Inslee also mentions that funding will also come from the federal infrastructure bill, which will help put charging stations along Interstate-5 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to California.

OPB reports that Inslee has stated that he does plan on putting charging stations at shopping centers and schools, saying, “We want them in our shopping districts, so they’re available when you go shopping. We want them in our schools, so you can pull up and charge while you’re at school.” Governor Inslee mentions that he feels it is important for American families to have a charging station right at their homes. The governor charges his personal vehicle, a Chevy Bolt, from his basement. Charging stations are difficult to build around specific apartments or condos, saying that it is vital to develop a charging station that can be accessible and built for any environment. He also mentioned his support of the concept of new building construction projects generating no net increase by 2030. “Together with the rest of the leaders here, and those everywhere else today who are committed to this fight, we will lead the charge on de-carbonizing the transportation sector,” Inslee said in a statement.

Seattle Seahawks vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

Stepping into the enormous, enclosed, well-lit press box was like entering a whole new world. Writers feverishly typed away on their various devices, desperate to get their voice out to fans following along for updates and inside access on the contest. Sunlight, a rarity in Seattle on the final day of October, is shown through the large, clean, glass windows that looked out onto the field. Numerous wide-screen televisions displayed other games around the league taking place in the earlier 10 AM PST slate. Fans start to pile into the stadium and find their seats. Here comes the noise. Seahawks fans are nicknamed the “12s”, as they have become the 12th man for their defense, as there can only be 11 players on the field at one time. They are out in full force today on this Halloween afternoon despite their team’s rocky start to the season.

The fans became even louder when the Seahawks took the field. The roar became deafening, even through a sealed-off and supposedly sound-proof press-box. Everyone in the stadium then rose to their feet and removed their hats for the playing of the national anthem. The voice ran out through the only momentarily silent stadium.  After the anthem, the decibel rate rose even higher, with almost all of the fans having made their way into Lumen Field. The build-up to the kickoff was a feat, with the bright blue with white “12s” block letters being raised and fired up the fans even more than they already were. People were trying to talk between rows, and it was impossible to hear even at that short distance. The atmosphere was electric. Honestly, words cannot justify how loud, and crazy the environment became throughout the game. If you ever have the opportunity to come to a match and witness this extraordinary setting, it is definitely a worthwhile experience

Seahawks Versus Jaguars

Now to the game: After a Jaguars punt on their opening possession, the Seahawks started off on the ground, then got a 27-yard pass to Tyler Lockett to set up a Geno Smith 1-yard rushing touchdown to cap off their opening drive. The Seahawks then got another big play with Quandre Diggs picking off rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. After the interception, the Seahawks marched methodically down the field, setting up a D.K Metcalf touchdown. After making an unbelievable catch over former Seahawk’s cornerback Shaquil Griffin, the Seattle star receiver ran to the padding on the goalpost stand and climbed on and hugged it, like a bear hugging a tree. He got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for the celebration, but the play stood, and the Seahawks went up 14-0 with nine minutes to play in the second quarter. The Seahawks seemed to move the ball on offense as well, with little resistance from a struggling Jacksonville defense which picked up their first win just the previous week. The Seahawks added a 31-yard field goal just before halftime to make it 17-0 at the break. In the third quarter, D.K. Metcalf caught his second touchdown pass of the game, making it a 24-0 Seahawks lead. The Jaguars finally got on the board near the end of the game, with a five-yard touchdown, breaking the shutout Seattle was hoping for. After the score, the Jaguars tried an onside kick which was recovered and returned 43 yards for a touchdown by Seattle’s Travis Homer, capping off a successful day at the office. That’s how this one ended, with the Seahawks winning 31-7 over the Jaguars.

Thanksgiving and Saint Martin’s Values

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer

As November ends, many students and staff are looking towards the Thanksgiving break, and many students discuss their plans. Senior Annika Briggs says, “My plans for Thanksgiving are to drive to my hometown and spend time with my parents and cousins.” Junior Rhea Herradura explains that over break, “My family has decided to have our regular/traditional get together with our close friends and family here in Washington. Every year we always think about what we’ll do, such as traveling or going on a road trip, but it usually ends up staying close to home”. Sophomore Alexandria Parsons shares with us her plans for the holiday break, “My plans this Thanksgiving are going to Utah to spend it with my sister and her family!” Saint Martin’s is known to throw amazing events for students to enjoy.

Director of the campus ministry, Colleen Dunne, informed us about Saint Martin’s upcoming plans for Thanksgiving: “So we don’t have a lot because so many of our students are close by and they go home. For our students who can’t go home, we are doing a Thanksgiving dinner! It is going to have more like a home-cooked potluck feel. It will be in the residents’ halls, and any student is welcome to come. There have been sign-ups that have gone out, and some of the food is coming from Bon Appetit. We are also reaching out to faculty and staff and asking anyone close by if they can make extra food or dishes and bring them! We are just trying to create a community feel with the dinner, and Janie Sacco, Sara Haugh, and I are working on it together. Thanksgiving is a holiday known for being centered around families and food. Students and staff share how Thanksgiving relates to Saint Martin’s values.”

“Come out and join us, everyone is welcome”

Annika Briggs shares, “Thanksgiving ties into the SMU values because of the respect for persons, and the time to reflect on who we are grateful for. It is also a time to give to those in need, which is a key part of hospitality. Doing things for others is an important aspect of the Thanksgiving season.” Alexandria Parsons shared that Thanksgiving values relate to the values of SMU because, “I think the community is a key part of both Thanksgiving and St. Martins, the two focus on togetherness!” Rhea Herradura discusses how values and the holiday are related. She said, “How I see Thanksgiving tying into the values of Saint Martin’s University is how we build a sense of community with those we love and care about, around us or even far away. It’s almost a celebration of gratitude where we appreciate our relationships, in which we gather and enjoy each other’s company. We relish in the greater understanding of service towards others and letting go, with our trust in one another I would associate that with faith. Of course, the last value is reason. I believe this is self-explanatory through the years of loving memories and stories. Sure, there are other holidays such as Christmas where you could argue we celebrate one another, but those times are different in the sense of where our focus is. Thanksgiving is around family and friends, while Christmas is more about the birth of Jesus Christ and/or a day of rest.”

Sister Raphaela Cady shares her insight on the values of SMU and how they relate to Thanksgiving, “For me, the Benedictine value of simplicity comes to mind. Inclusiveness, gathering people together, and gratitude are important aspects of the holiday. Thanksgiving has traditionally been about people being together and sharing what they have. Hospitality is a Benedictine value at Saint Martin’s encompasses as well. There are many opportunities for people to participate in Thanksgiving at Saint Martin’s to engage in the Benedictine hospitality of creating space for people to gather. This is essential to who we are so we can continue to create hospitality and give ourselves room for simplicity.” Overall, Thanksgiving is seen as a time for students to spend time with loved ones and reflect on what they are thankful for.

Upcoming Events

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

It’s a new school year and with midterms passed and the semester drawing to an end, it’s time to destress and celebrate with some school activities. Now that classes for the most part are back to in-person learning, the games at the TUB are open again, and the community is large again. There are now a number of events that are coming back, continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols. Campus Activities Board (CAB) member Erin Luong and new Campus Life Activities assistant director Shandra Witke talk about some upcoming activities to be on the lookout for.

Some upcoming campus life events to close off the semester include a movie night for international week, the annual Christmas under the canopy, and a number of other events that will be hosted by the clubs on campus. While many events for next semester may not be official yet, many of them are in the planning stages. Some usual events will include commuter lunch every first Wednesday of the month where it includes an opportunity for commuter students to win raffle prizes.

International education week is an opportunity for students across campus to meet international students on our campus and learn about new cultures around the world. At the end of the week, a movie will be played. The week will consist of Campus Life partnering with the Office of International Programs and Development. The movie night will be at the Worthington Center on Friday November 19 at 7 PM. “The movie that’s chosen will hopefully give a good viewpoint of the international experience and give students a good idea of what it might be like in other countries” says Witke.

On November 8, first generation college/university students and alumni at Saint Martins will have an opportunity to speak their stories and thoughts at a first gen lunch event hosted by Campus Life. The event will feature a Q&A panel where attendees can ask different questions and share their stories. On the 9th, ASSMU will be hosting a coco social at the TUB from 3-5.

With the Christmas season coming up, campus life has events planned out that will help celebrate the holidays. Christmas under the Canopy celebrates the end of the Advent season as the Saint Martin’s community prepares themselves for the coming of the Christmas season before the month-long break. The prayer service is followed by the tree lighting as well as music provided by the choir and the band. One of the largest events that is yet to come is the campus’s annual Winter Ball which will close off the Fall 2021 semester. This event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols. The event will be in its usual venue at Indian Summer Country Club and Golf Course.

CAB is in the works right now planning an event for the week of Veterans Day. That week will feature an event that will honor both veterans and active military members for their service.

For Spring of 2022, some events that CAB has planned out are its annual Welcome Week. Just like the beginning of the fall semester, Welcome Week is meant to celebrate the return of students for a new semester and an opportunity for new students to get to know the university better. While the weather in January might be different from a sunny and warm summer in August, events such as games and other activities are being planned out to be indoors following COVID-19 protocols. CAB is also working on throwing another destress event for the spring semester.

Homecoming week is another annual event that is in the making. This week will consist of the Men’s annual homecoming basketball week where students can have an opportunity to win prizes. It is also a great opportunity for the alumni to come back. Most club events are still in the planning process. Dates and times are subject to change.

Plastic Bag Ban

Gilbert Smith, Staff Writer

Since Oct.1, 2021, the state of Washington began a plastic bag ban in effect for some stores, primarily grocery and department stores. They are called retail establishments in a special notice from the Department of Revenue, or D.O.R., for Washington State. It was originally supposed to take place earlier, but the pandemic forced it to be halted temporarily by Gov. Jay Inslee’s Emergency Proclamation 2082. A reason for this ban was the numerous complaints about bag shortages. The emergency proclamation expired Sept. 30th. The current ban has been put into action by the Department of Ecology, or D.O.E., for Washington State. It was passed by the State Legislature.

It only bans the use of single-use plastic bags in Washington State. This is applying to new bags being produced and not the ones that are already in the stores. There are six types of allowed bags according to the Wash. D.O.E website. Some kinds of bags will have charges attached to them but only two have mandatory charges. One of the charges, according to the special notice from the D.O.R. will start in 2026 for reusable plastic bags to increase from 8 cents to 12 cents. The paper bags will not change in price. There is even a form that can be filled out if you wish to report a store that is not in compliance with the bag ban. Compostable bags are still allowed but not recommended to use due to the fact that not all places can process them because of lack of equipment.

This ban doesn’t apply to various forms of public assistance that those with lower incomes have access to, such as food stamps. There are expectations for food banks and food assistance programs as well. This means you may find them still in use at some stores and that some will still have them as an option. According to the D.O.E., “Some single-use plastic bags are exempt from the law, including plastics to wrap meats and produce, bags for prescriptions, and newspaper or dry-cleaning bags.”

This means that now when going to most stores if you aren’t exempt from this law, you will need to pay less than ten cents per bag you request from them. However, reusable bags are still allowed in free of charge as well. There are two types of bags, green or brown banded plastic produce bags and single-use plastic bags, which are not recyclable. The ones that are still an option have been determined to be more recyclable.

A post by the D.O.E in July explains, “Plastic bags are a common form of pollution that threatens human health, wildlife, and the environment. Harmful chemicals are released when plastics are produced, used, incinerated, or slowly disintegrate into microscopic particles. Plastic bags are also a major contaminant in Washington’s recycling system that clog sorting machines and put worker safety at risk.”

Covid-19 Booster Vaccine Roll-Out

Brianna Lopez Staff, Writer

Covid has taken away some memorable moments due to the world shutting down, especially from important events like weddings or graduations. We struggled to find a solution near the beginning of the pandemic, our scientists working hard to create one. We were able to find a vaccine within the year and now as a country we are slowly but surely getting back to what we now call normal despite our mask mandates.

As a whole, we now live in vaccinated times. Like many vaccines, there is more than one dose especially for Covid-19. Now most people are currently vaccinated and going through with their daily lives whilst still utilizing masks everywhere regardless of vaccination status. Many different reasons for vaccination include going back to school requirements, work, or any other relatively important place a person could be a on a daily basis.

When vaccines first started, we only had one vaccine option which included a second dose that one had to receive about a month after receiving the first dose. The second dose had some effects on the general public for the most part, therefore after this vaccine a lot of people were probably glad to be done and over with it.

There is talk of a booster shot that is supposed to be administered at least 6 months after your full vaccination process. According to ABC news as well as other sources, the Covid-19 vaccine is still effective for most people. This does not mean that there will not be a booster vaccine, it just means that with the current vaccinations there are less people are getting Covid-19.

Just as the name states it is a booster shot, but this does not indicate that the vaccines administered are failing, it mainly ensures the safety of the general public, as well as making sure that no one else gets dangerously sick with the virus.

The CDC has updated their website with information on who will be eligible for the booster shot as of Oct 21. 2021, which has already passed. Therefore, if you fall into any of the following categories than you are eligible for a booster shot after 6 months or more after your second Covid-19 shot. 65 years and older, age 18+ who live in long-term settings, age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings.

Make sure to do your research on the vaccine whether you are on board or not. These vaccines have the potential to protect those around you from the deadly results of the virus. Even though many of us are being safe by wearing mask, we aren’t quite out of the woods yet. Please do what you can by practicing hygiene and sanitizing high touch areas around you. Mask up Saints and be safe.

Indigenous People’s Rights

Ailina Cunningham, Staff Writer

In this modern era of activism and civil liberties, the visibility of minorities has birthed the public awareness of several movements, including Black Lives Matter, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQIA+ rights. Some are more focused on a specified genre of political or racial activism, one of which has been slowly gaining steam being the rights of Native Americans. In recent memory, we can recall the protests dating back to 2016 with the occurrence of Standing Rock, Dakota. The Sioux tribes fought for their right to not have an ancient indigenous burial ground demolished to stain a crude oil pipeline.

Millions across the globe joined in solidarity to stand with them in this fight against having their land taken illegally. A common trend in history, which repeats as different parts of indigenous life is threatened. Starting in 1924 when Native Americans were granted the right to vote. This means that it was not until the 1900’s, or around 100 years ago, that Native Americans qualified as citizens on their own land and were allowed to vote. This movement for rights has gone on for years and has continued to grow in popularity in the public domain as members of tribes can tell their stories.

Currently, a movement is being made to find the missing women and children who are supposedly being brutally harmed but have not been reported or investigated. This is a very disturbing fact given the ideal of the criminal justice system is to investigate every crime to achieve justice. Organizations such as the Native Women’s Wilderness Organization have put up videos and information to explain the problem to the public and raise awareness. This awareness garnered White House attention back in 2019 in the form of designating May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Native Women and Girls. Additionally, this form of awareness brought about the existence of Executive Order 13898, or in other words, operation of Lady Justice. This is an operation that builds a task force to find the missing women and children who are of indigenous descent or ethnicity. Statistics are not currently out on how many women or children have yet been found.

The fight for awareness and understanding of Native American Rights has reached new audiences currently with social platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, which allow personal accounts on issues from the voices of Indigenous people to reach a more public platform. Using this platform has become a way for indigenous people to find pride in their history and their culture, rather than trying to blend in with the modern culture that excludes their heritage. Trends such as #NativeTikTok and #NativeStories allowed Indigenous people to share their culture and their heritage with people who may not have any other way of knowing about indigenous life.

Fighting for your civil rights is one thing, and it is very important, however, these people have found a way to fight for their heritage as well. By telling stories that were passed down to them so that the stories do not disappear, and instead reach a wider audience. Some creators have even started to explain indigenous dances and tribal rituals to spread awareness of the cultural significance that they bring. In this modern-day, as rights movements soar in public awareness, so does Indigenous awareness.