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From the Editor


heater has been a lifelong passion of mine. Since elementary school, a piece of me has always felt like I belonged to live storytelling. I remember being a mouse in my school’s production of “Cinderella” — a direct rip-off of the 1950 Disney princess movie. I fell in love with the art and kept auditioning for roles: I landed Mr. Smee in Peter Pan in fifth grade and learned the power of humor while wearing a fat suit. In high school, I took the leap again and rediscovered the same joy I felt as a 10-year-old. This time, my boyfriend was by my side through it all and while our love for one another began to blossom, so did our love for the stage. We found community in the other thespians and quickly decided the stage would always have a place in our lives. KYLIE As I reached college, it became apparent that acting would not be my SOTO path in life. I swiftly turned to journalism with the same amount of love for OP-ED EDITOR the art of language as the love I had for performing. Still, I’ve auditioned for mainstage performances and done what I can to support NAU Theatre. This semester, I joined the event promotions team for the department and found a love for collaborative marketing for theater. At the moment, my dream is to one day write about Broadway performances and, perhaps have a hand in marketing live theatre. Of course, life has unexpected twists and turns and nothing is guaranteed. As of now, I’m just loving what I’m doing and living in the moment. Here’s to achieving dreams and ignoring people’s perception of impossibilities. Break a leg, Kylie Soto Thank you for reading.


Phone: (928) 523-4921 Fax: (928) 523-9313 P.O. Box 6000 Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Editor-in-Chief Nathan Manni

Managing Editor Camille Sipple

Copy Chief Trevor Skeen

Faculty Adviser David Harpster

Print Chief Ash Lohmann

Director of Digital Content and Social Media Emily Gerdes

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Media Innovation Center Editorial Board News Editor Mark Fabery Asst. News Editor Tess Stafford Op-Ed Editor Kylie Soto Asst. Op-Ed Editor Marley Green Features Editor Olivia Charlson


Asst. Features Editor Lauren Anderson

Sports Adviser Rory Faust

Culture Editor Katelyn Rodriguez

Director of Photography MacKenzie Brower

Asst. Culture Editor Haylee Emch

Asst. Dir. of Photography Brian Burke

Sports Editor Brenden Martin

Director of Illustration Diana Ortega

Asst. Sports Editor Will Hopkins


Director of Multimedia Shawn Patti

On the cover Firecreek Coffee Company hosts a concert with The Senators, Adam Bruce and Jacqueline & John, Sept. 11. Megan Ford-Fyffe| The Lumberjack

Corrections & Clarifications The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email Nathan Manni at

PoliceBeat Sept. 6 At 1:43 a.m., a Honors College staff member requested assistance for a student who consumed marijuana edibles. NAUPD, Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD) and Guardian Medical Transport (GMT) responded, and the student was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC). At 12:46 p.m., a McConnell Hall RHD reported a student who used a fire extinguisher. NAUPD responded and one student was criminally deferred for theft and damage. At 6:24 p.m., a RHD reported a vehicle in a reserved parking spot. NAUPD responded and told the driver to move their car. Sept. 7 At 2:22 a.m., a Gabaldon Hall RA reported a student who was sexaully assualted. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the case remains open pending investigation. At 10:35 a.m., a nonstudent reported broken glass outside the Wilson Hall bus stop. NAUPD responded and provided assistance. At 4:58 p.m., a Gammage staff member reported possible damage to the building. NAUPD responded, but could not determine if any occurred. At 9:36 p.m., a Hilltop Townhomes resident requested medical assistance for a student who collapsed. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the student was transported to FMC. Sept. 8 At 5:15 a.m., a custodian requested a walkthrough of

the Geology building because windows were left open. NAUPD responded and no criminal activity was witnessed. At 10:48 a.m., a Health and Learning Center staff member reported the possible theft of their vehicle. NAUPD responded, located their vehicle and took a report for information only.

compiled by Mark Fabery Heights. NAUPD responded and the driver was issued a verbal warning for parking on the pedestrian path.

Sept. 10 At 5:53 a.m., a student requested assistance for a possible suicidal student in the Skyview Parking Garage. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded to provide assistance. Counseling Services At 5:22 p.m., a Performing was notified. and Fine Arts staff member requested assistance with a At 1:21 p.m., a Hotel and lockout. NAUPD responded Restaurant Management staff and provided assistance. member requested assistance with a locked bathroom door. At 9:43 p.m., a Tinsley NAUPD responded and Hall RA reported a student provided assistance. who passed out after vomiting. NAUPD responded and the At 10:18 p.m., a student was transported to McConnell Hall staff member FMC. reported a student stole an exit sign. NAUPD responded and a Sept. 9 took a report. At 9 a.m., a Reilly Hall staff member reported someone Sept. 11 who used a fire extinguisher. At 3:22 a.m., a Reilly NAUPD responded and found Hall RA requested medical no criminal activity. assistance for an intoxicated student. NAUPD, FFD and At 10:12 a.m., a GMT responded, and the University Union Fieldhouse student was transported to staff member reported being FMC. struck by a scooter. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, At 4:27 p.m., a Tinsley but the staff member refused Hall RHD late reported transport to FMC. harassment and assault on a student. NAUPD responded At 12:01 p.m., a Postal and a report was taken. Services staff member reported a subject starting Sept. 12 a fight. NAUPD responded At 12:32 a.m., a Hilltop and attempted to locate Townhomes resident reported the nonstudent, but was an intoxicated underage unsuccessful. FPD later student had fallen. NAUPD, apprehended the individual in FFD and GMT responded, and Sedona, and the nonstudent the student was transported to was booked into Coconino FMC. County Detention Facility for unlawful flight and reckless At 3:17 a.m., a Reilly driving. Hall staff member reported damage to furniture. NAUPD At 7:07 p.m., a student responded and took a report. reported a vehicle parked on the pedestrian path between McKay Village and Campus

NEw Covid-19 Cases in Coconino County this week: 255 Coconino county percent positivity: 7.1% Total Number of COvid-19 vaccine doses administered: 160,536 Percent of people Vaccinated: 59.8% Number of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19: 75,643



Arizona prepares to welcome Afghan evacuees Sophia Swainson


ov. Doug Ducey released a statement expressing Arizona’s support for Afghans attempting to flee their country’s unrest, as well as welcoming those who have received Special Immigrant Visas into the state, following the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan. In close collaboration with Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSSS) and Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) are leading efforts to help these evacuees enter Arizona and adjust to living in a new country. “They supported our military efforts and served as translators, interpreters, drivers and more — and were instrumental in our nation’s operations and the safety of [United States] soldiers,” Ducey said. “They helped our fight to defeat terrorist organizations and defend human rights, and now their lives are in danger.” The Department of Economic Security is unsure of when they will arrive, exactly, due to the complicated nature of organizing the evacuation process. Those coming into the U.S. are being granted evacuee status, as opposed to refugee status, because of Afghanistan’s current political and social climate. This means the process of receiving and settling evacuees is more difficult for involved departments to plan and, as a result, is taking longer than expected. The Afghans’ evacuee status also means they arrive in the country before completing the work permit and residence procedures that those granted refugee status have typically finalized in advance. The evacuees will need to complete these processes after arriving, subsequently delaying their ability to begin living and working in their new communities. Once the evacuees arrive in Arizona, the Department of Economic Security will connect them with LSSS or CCCS, which will directly interact with the incoming Afghans. Tasya Peterson, press secretary for the Department of Economic Security, described the role of those organizations — referred to as refugee resettlement agencies — in assisting with adapting to life in the U.S. “Local nonprofit refugee resettlement agencies welcome refugees when they arrive in the country, provide them with essential services during their first 30 to 90 days and link them to federally funded programs,” Peterson said. For instance, CCCS provides refugees with direct assistance to ensure they feel supported in their transition to living in Arizona and are prepared to succeed. The organization offers courses in health, housing, law, transportation and financial literacy to help participants acclimate to life. Refugees are also placed in programs to teach English or improve language skills.



“While there is not a refugee resettlement agency in northern Arizona, Catholic Charities provides remote placement and support,” Peterson said. Similarly, LSSS has several programs to help with acclimating and adjusting to life in Arizona. When they are placed in new homes, refugees are introduced to volunteers called “first friends,” who provide the initial point of contact in new communities. “First friends” give support in the difficult processes of learning a different language and getting accustomed to a new place. “First friends” are selected out of the organization’s CoSponsor Team program. These teams consist of three to five volunteers who select activities to complete with refugees, such as connecting them with a food bank, helping them open a bank account or taking them to get vaccinations. Volunteers interested in creating a Co-Sponsor Team can do so through LSSS’s volunteer platform — Volunteer Match. LSSS CEO Connie Phillips said she views the program as a way to help refugees reach their ambitions, while also encouraging them to set and achieve goals. “Sometimes those goals are about the English language; sometimes they’re about getting a good job or learning a new skill,” Phillips said. “Each goal varies widely based on what the refugee wants to achieve.” Although

LSSS plans to settle evacuees in Phoenix and Tucson, students in Flagstaff still have the chance to be first friends as virtual volunteers. The organization also has remote volunteer opportunities in its mentoring program, which allows refugees to seek further advice about living in the U.S. With training programs for employment, safety, transit orientation and computer skills, LSSS has organized several different resources to enhance refugees’ success. These programs offer more opportunities for students interested in helping evacuees feel comfortable in Arizona. Visit these links to volunteer for LSSS or CCCS.

Illustration By Tonesha Yazzie


Warning: Wild mushrooms may be poisonous TO Animals Lauryn sTeitz


ollowing the increase in rainfall over recent weeks, mushroom sightings have become a regular occurrence for hikers, bikers and mushroom foragers. Flagstaff residents have raised concerns with identifying poisonous mushrooms in order to safeguard their pets. On neighborhood and community sites such as Nextdoor, people have shared their loss of cats and dogs after the pets ingested toxins. Fungi specialists, such as NAU professors and Flagstaff veterinarians also shared their insight on the topic. Catherine Gehring, associate chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Biological Sciences, has a Ph.D. in biology. Further, she is involved with the identification of mushrooms for AZ Poison Center. “There have been a lot of calls this year, including from novice foragers who did not correctly identify a mushroom that they consumed,” Gehring said. Through Q&As with the Arizona Daily Sun, veterinarians like Dr. Julianne Miller from

Canyon Pet Hospital outlined the dangers of pets consuming wild mushrooms. “Once a dog eats the mushrooms, it does not take long to start to see the effects of the toxic ones, as your pet will start to become wobbly or disoriented and might start to vomit,” Miller said. Dr. Monet Martin of Kaibab Veterinary Clinic said the best approach after dogs or pets discover this dangerous treat is to check them into a veterinary clinic. Symptoms of ingestion include weakness, vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, seizures and other effects. Martin explained symptoms appear differently depending on the size of the animal. Although it takes more poisonous mushrooms to impair larger animals, they can still present symptoms after consuming small amounts. “Call your vet and see if they have any suggestions to help your pet vomit as soon as possible,” Martin said. As well as quantity, the type of mushroom

toxin affects pets differently. In an article for the Veterinary Centers of America, Dr. Lynn Buzhardt said there are four categories of mushroom toxins: Gastrointestinal, hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic and neurotoxic. Depending on the type and amount, the stomach, liver, kidneys and neurological system can be affected. “In general, I recommend keeping all pets away from wild mushrooms and assume all of them are in some way toxic,” Miller said. “That might be an oversimplification, but it helps keep us aware of what our pets eat in the forest.” Similarly, Gehring said poisonous mushrooms tend to look similar to edible varieties, which can make it difficult to distinguish the differences. “Identifying mushrooms requires training, as many species look alike unless you know exactly what characteristics to look for,” Gehring said. “When trying a wild mushroom species for the first time, cook and eat only a small amount

in case it turns out to be a toxic species or you have a reaction to it that is not typical.” However, there are some indicators of poisonous mushrooms: Red-spotted caps, as on the Fly Agaric; yellow caps with white spots, as on the Jeweled Death Cap; and smooth white caps, as on the Death Cap, which is responsible for deaths among both people and pets, just to name a few. “There are several different poisonous species, but the deadliest ones are in our Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests,” Gehring said. Familiarizing oneself with the characteristics of edible mushrooms helps to avoid poisonous mushrooms. More information can be found on the AZ Poison Center website. For pet owners who encounter poisonous mushrooms and potentially dangerous situations, UArizona has more in-depth information regarding poison control. Phone numbers are available here for immediate assistance.

“I reccomend keeping all pets away from wild mushrooms and assume all of them are in some way toxic.” – Veterinarian Dr. Julianne Miller

The amount of Death Cap mushrooms in Flagstaff has increased after record monsoon season rainfall, leading to more veternarian visits for pets who have gotten sick from consuming them. Courtesy of The Associated Press

SEPT. 17 - SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



A Chick-fil-A employee hands a student their order in University Union, Sept. 10. Megan Ford-Fyffe| The Lumberjack

NAU faces campuswide staff shortages Daisy Johnston


ore than a year after employees faced mass layoffs due to COVID-19, employers are struggling to rehire new staff. As of June, job openings in the United States reached over 10 million unfilled positions. There are debates over if this staff shortage can be credited to the lack of people wanting to return to work, or to the lack of enticing job offerings. Meanwhile, businesses without the staff needed to function at full capacity are learning to adapt with fewer employees. NAU Human Resources Manager Laurie Dwyer, who works at the Flagstaff Mountain campus, acknowledged that dining hall employees have been working longer hours, serving longer lines and missing out on their regular days off. During the 2020-21 academic year, the reduction in customer capacity and lack of oncampus students resulted in the university’s dining facilities hiring fewer employees. This fall, with the return of in-person classes and extended customer capacity, NAU is looking to rehire a full crew. Dwyer said in order to fully staff the school’s food services, campus dining would need to hire double the amount of its normal crew. “We are usually fairly well-covered by about mid-September, but the significant increase in the number of employees that have had to be on-boarded this fall has extended this shortage temporarily, and we will need a few extra weeks to catch up,”



Dwyer said. As campus dining attempts to meet the demand of customers this fall, NAU employees will continue to work busier schedules. Dwyer asked students to please be patient and kind. “They are working hard and long hours, and they are tired,” Dwyer said. “A simple smile and a ‘Thank you’ goes a long way.” Campus dining managers are not the only ones struggling to rehire their staff at NAU. Senior Kasi Winkle is working as a teacher’s assistant for the Department of History this semester — a position typically filled by graduate students. Though Winkle said she is grateful for this opportunity, she even feels the impacts of the shortage as a student. “Last year with COVID-19, NAU had [laid off professors],” Winkle said. “Because there was a lot of switching around, I didn’t know who my professors were until three days before school started.” Winkle said one of the classes she enrolled in this fall semester was canceled 20 minutes before it was supposed to start. However, as a senior set to graduate in December, she intentionally selected a precise number of credits and classes. An inability to take the right amount would have delayed Winkle’s graduation, she added. Additionally, Winkle made attempts to get help from her advisers and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, but said her calls were never returned. Winkle has since been able to adjust her schedule independently and is on track to graduate in

December. “I had 20 minutes; I logged onto LOUIE and picked up another class,” Winkle said. “Luckily I knew to do that, but what if someone else didn’t?” Dwyer said staff shortages, to a lesser extent, are typical at the start of the semester as students are just settling in. Students looking for work on campus are encouraged to apply through Handshake. Although NAU has begun the process of hiring additional crew members, many of them require training. As understaffed departments across campus are shuffling to train workers in the coming weeks, the understanding shown by students has not gone unnoticed. Dwyer said she recognizes the patience demonstrated by customers. “In general, our customers are very kind and understanding, and they know that many of the people serving them are their peers,” Dwyer said “I think it is more of a stress on our employees when they are short-staffed and see long lines in front of them, and they’re struggling to maintain positivity when their coworkers call in or don’t show up as scheduled.” While remote classes limited the school’s ability to hire students last year, the reintegration of in-person courses allowed NAU to increase its staff numbers. Dwyer said renewed efforts to seek workers are expected to resolve staffing figures within the coming weeks.


SEPT. 17 - SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



The Republican party has taken Texas hostage 14th Amendment right to privacy, that protect a woman's right to abortion. reg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has This recent bill bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, targeted marginalized communities through many effectively prohibiting abortion in its totality due to the fact that decisions and bills. most occur later in the first trimester, according to the Centers One outrageous display of antihumanitarian legislation for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, most women passed under Abbott’s leadership is Texas’ Homelessness Ban, don’t know they are pregnant until this point in the gestation which essentially prevents homeless people from living by fining period. them hundreds of dollars they don't have and citing them with It also allows Texans to sue any person who helps another a Class C misdemeanor. citizen with abortion-related health care payments or gives The bill specifies if someone is transportation to a clinic. Uber and Lyft drivers could have been cooking, sleeping, starting a fire or sued for up to $10,000 by any citizen in the state, but both storing personal items in a public area, companies vowed to cover any judgments against their drivers. it is illegal and fineable. Abortions will happen no matter their legality. The state has This does not help those who the responsibility of ensuring abortions are carried out safely, with struggle disproportionately with effective medical procedures in order to prevent harm. getting a job, nor does it protect In parts of the world their mental and physical health. where abortion is illegal, selfThe legislation was constructed inflicted abortions cause 8 to to get homeless people out of 11% of all maternal deaths, sight, so politicians can simply totaling 30,000 fatalities forget that we annually. If politicians in have millions Texas actually cared about of Americans women’s safety, they who cannot would allow their right to afford to live abortion to remain legal, under a roof. and this unconstitutional All this bill would be redacted. accomplishes In the law, there is is adding excessive socioalso no exception that gives economic penalties to homeless people who have been raped or are individuals, further alienating pregnant due to incest the right to an them from society. abortion, forcing them to go through For being “pro-life,” the nine months of continued suffering. state sure has an interesting way This legislation is starting to paint of showing it. To me, ruining a picture of opposing human peoples’ lives and futures rights, while nurturing the old, doesn’t seem pro-life. outdated and oppressive culture Additionally, the Texas well into the 21st century. Senate passed a plethora of laws The charlatans who write discriminating against LGBTQ+ these bills only have one goal in community members, limiting mind: To preserve racist beliefs their quality of health care, the United States was founded on. lessening their participation in What else could they be hoping to sports and more. achieve by restricting women's rights Illustration By DIANA Ortega The state senate is looking to do and outlawing teaching the KKK was a more than pass legislation to remedy morally wrong organization, besides an altsocial and economic issues in Texas, as it should do; instead, right agenda? legislators are taking their masks off and displaying truly bigoted Abbott and the rest of the Republicans' objective is clear. ideologies. They hope to continue the systemic oppression of marginalized Legislators also passed an anti-critical race theory education people within his state, rather than end it. law, H.B. 3979, which bans public schools from teaching that The recent legislation passed by the Republican-led state the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is “morally wrong.” Furthermore, it senate and house shoves a pre-1960s era agenda of alt-right ideals eliminates the “I Have a Dream” teaching mandate based on the back into the faces of constituents. famous speech by civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., along Ironically, most Texas legislators are pro-life, while ruining with other moments in the fight for racial equality. lives in the process. Texans’ constitutional rights were also violated by the senate. The abortion ban ignores Roe v. Wade, along with the

John chaffeur

Streamers have the itch to ditch Twitch


his month opened with an important day for streamers: #ADayOffTwitch. Users and streamers banded together to make the site go dark in protest of the dangerous hate raids that have been infesting the platform and raising safety issues for all who use it. Transphobic, homophobic, sexist, racist and offensive comments are not KYLIE SOTO unheard of in the online world, but OP-ED EDITOR everyone who uses Twitch has noticed an increase in hate spam in stream chats on the site. This is when users send bot accounts to overload a creator with copies of the same predetermined message, often negative. Considering Twitch’s mission — “to provide the best shared social video experience created by growing [a] community where creators and communities can interact safely” — the company is doing little to guard users from trolls. In light of recent events, streamers “ShineyPen,” “Lucia Everblack” and “RekitRaven” were credited with creating the virtual walkout, according to The Verge. The protest was “born out of the #TwitchDoBetter movement.” Twitch has been criticized for not acting quickly and decisively in combatting the invasion of negativity on the site, and for not providing the tools to address these incidents. Generally speaking, streamers have moderators who ensure the stream chat follows their rules. However, they are often unable to handle hate using the community-based resources they are equipped with. On Sept. 9, The Washington Post reported “Twitch filed a legal complaint against two users that claims they flooded creators’ chats with ‘racist, sexist and homophobic language and content,’ repeatedly evaded bans by creating new accounts and ‘seriously harmed and will continue to harm the Twitch community.’” It was also revealed some harassers have doxxed streamers by leaking their real names and addresses. Although Twitch has taken some action, this one instance does not fix the entire issue. The company is running out of time to come up with solutions, while users and creators choose to leave the site to ensure their safety. Streamers like “WhatifJulia” and “Julien,” who stream for a living, should not have to worry about their preferred online site becoming an outlet for hate speech and a potential compromise of their safety. Twitch must do better for all users, and considering the site runs on a sense community, the company has yet to do much to nurture the environment it promotes.





Vaccine hesitancy is making matters worse


Josh Ostby

espite efforts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to urge Americans to get vaccinated, conflicting information about the COVID-19 vaccine on the internet and through conversation has left some hesitant to get it. People don't want to take the vaccine because they've been misinformed — or they’ve been informed but feel like they aren't at risk without it. Some are waiting to see if it's necessary or safe to get. These kinds of procrastinations are harmful in the fight against COVID-19 —and could potentially lead to stricter mandates across the country — which is the last thing needed as society tries to return to normalcy after a long year. Online studies conducted to determine the reasons for not getting vaccinated found 23% of survey participants cited conspiracy theories or systemic distrust in government. This vaccine hesitancy is likely linked to the attention and traction that online conspiracies have gained in recent years. These contribute to the rising trend of alternatives to immunization, such as Vitamin D and other homeopathic remedies. Nonhomeopathic drugs like Ivermectin, a cattle deworming medication, are commonly discussed as well. The rising popularity of these differing approaches can guide people away from the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine, along with emergency authorized options from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. For example, Ivermectin sales multiplied 24-fold

compared to numbers taken before the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that there are no real studies on the effect of those remedies against the disease. Exacerbating the misinformation problem, former President Donald Trump once mentioned Hydroxychloroquine on national television, and sales of that drug also surged with no real evidence of efficacy. Breakthrough cases of infection occurring in fully-vaccinated people are used as a deterrent from getting the vaccine because of a different logic: If one can still get sick, why get vaccinated? This reasoning comes even as Arizona Department of Health Services reported that about 1% of fully-

vaccinated Arizonans have tested positive for COVID-19. It’s interesting how people pick and choose which sources to trust and which data to look at. "Officials" is even becoming a more loosely-used term. There are some particularly vocal critics of the CDC and FDA, but I'm sure most of them have a favorite podcast personality — one without scientific or medical credibility — spouting a unique view on the vaccine and pandemic that they take to heart. It may seem like these views are perfectly reasonable, or that those ideas should be tolerated because the United States is a free country. However, it’s hard to not think of the implications of those actions. Unvaccinated people aren’t usually the ones suggesting the U.S. go into lockdown to prevent the spread or taking personal preventive measures as a means of harm-reduction. So, they end up contributing to the spread of something they have no intention of stopping. The disease is going to keep spreading, whether one believes that or not. In order to curb the transmission of COVID-19 and new variants, it’s likely heightened mandates and government restrictions will be needed again — like those from earlier in the pandemic. Australia set an example for what this kind of strict government could look like. Half the country has been on a lockdown for the past few weeks and, naturally, civil unrest in the form of protests followed. However, arrests were made on the assembled citizens almost immediately. This could happen if the U.S. continues down the path of misinformation. Those unwilling to get vaccinated operate purely on being antithetical to the government, or they just haven’t made this connection. If Americans aren't planning on getting vaccinated, they should at least be more considerate of their environment. Everyone has an uncle, co-worker or friend who refuses to get the shot but doesn't want to stay home or wear a mask in a public, crowded area. That's a level of skepticism that dips into selfishness and carelessness. With all the data proving the undeniable safety and efficacy of vaccines, choosing not to listen shouldn’t be a free pass to put others in danger. Even though HIPAA allows individual privacy on matters such as vaccination status, requiring complete transparency with immunization records may be the next step — and a needed decision. Socially, what could follow is discrimination between those who have gotten the vaccine and those who haven't. With the civil unrest happening in our country, between protests, rallies and other calls to action, the U.S. does not need more of a reason to see a compatriot as an “other.” If America wants to avoid regressing to lockdowns and mask mandates, and to cease pulling the threads of our societal sweater, getting vaccinated is the clear option. Regardless of believing in science, this is the best — and only — bet for returning to normalcy.

Illustration By DIANA Ortega

SEPT. 17 - SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



The continued battle against Octavia Freeland


ast year was filled with fear: To go outside, hang out with friends, lose jobs and catch COVID-19. Although society is slowly returning to normal, one must remember the lockdowns, restrictions and health precautions many communities have been through. In-person interactions have increased from businesses reopening, restaurants filling with hungry customers and schools starting in-person classes again. Meanwhile, Coconino County officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated. Matthew Maurer, epidemiologist for Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS), explained staffers are communicating with county school districts to provide safe learning environments, in addition to collaborating with partners to make sure vaccines are available for everyone in the area. Maurer said people who receive the vaccine are less likely to experience the severe, and sometimes lasting, effects of COVID-19. “COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to

the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness,” Maurer said. “Over 80% of new cases over the last several weeks are among those who are not fully vaccinated. Coconino County Health and Human Services continues to encourage those not yet vaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine.” In Coconino County, the fully-vaccinated population is

“Over 80% of new cases over the last several weeks are among those who are not fully vaccinated.” – Epidemiologist Matthew Maurer

now at 57.3%. Those looking to get shots or receive tests, can find COVID-19 testing and vaccination locations online. While the county is encouraging citizens to get vaccinated through informative programs, the city of Flagstaff is also working to support immunization efforts. Mayor Paul Deasy explained he and city council are working on COVID-19 vaccination incentives that could provide assistance to those willing to get shots, but who don’t have the opportunity due to economic hardships. The main focus of city staff throughout the pandemic has been public health, and Deasy said he is proud of that consideration after suceeding Coral Evans in November 2020. Deasy emphasized that council is responsible for keeping 80,000 Flagstaff residents safe, and he also reflected on decisions during the health crisis. Deasy led by example by receiving his vaccine in March. He said this decision was due to considering science, understanding what was going on behind the scenes in hospitals and realizing how critical it is that citizens look after one another. “My wife was on the frontlines of the COVID ICU,” Deasy

University Union Fieldhouse offers vaccination services to students and Flagstaff residents via appointment, Sept. 12. Madison Easton | The Lumberjack




t COVID-19 and vaccinations said. “She’s a nurse, and by understanding what is truly happening on the frontlines, you realize how critical it is for us to protect each other. [Dying from this virus] is not an easy death. It is not an easy process to heal. People have long-term illnesses. And it’s nothing like any nurse or doctor has ever seen. … Out of respect for health care professionals, out of understanding of science, we absolutely have to get vaccinated, if you can, and protect one another. Let’s not put extra pressure on those who have been working for a year and a half in traumatic experiences to try to protect the rest of us.” Deasy acknowledged NAU’s hard work and dedication in helping to promote vaccines and slow the spread of COVID-19. He said NAU provides free COVID testing — located at University Union Fieldhouse — while also referencing the success of wastewater testing in studying the disease’s spread. NAU encourages students and the public to get vaccinated through the Operation Vaccination program, which is also located on central campus in the fieldhouse. Senior Kelly Pearson, who received the vaccine, explained what influenced her decision: The fear that she would eventually get COVID-19.

“Out of respect for healthcare professionals, out of understanding of science, we absolutely have to get vaccinated, if you can, and protect one another. Let’s not put extra pressure on those who have been working for a Year and a half in traumatic experiences to try to protect the rest of us.” – Mayor Paul Deasy

“I definitely feel less scared than before I was vaccinated,” Pearson said. “It is still scary knowing that all the variants are going around — it’s intimidating — and I don’t think we should be in-person, but I do feel a little bit safer.” NAU, Flagstaff and Coconino County continue to go to great lengths to keep the population safe and increase vaccination rates. They have been a constant source of information to the public about wearing masks, getting tests and being protected by the vaccine. In addition, personal beliefs are still influencing the pandemic, even with research pointing toward the vaccine lowering COVID-19 transferability. The community is connected through specific decisions and general lifestyles. For individuals looking to conduct more research about vaccination efforts or other safety precautions, Coconino County Health and Human Services is one resource to utilize.

Coconino County is running a campaign in an attempt to encourage residents to get vaccinated, Sept. 12. Madison Easton | The Lumberjack




Hispanic Heritage Month with NAU’s First Latinx President Alexandria Vallejo


fter converting to online classes for a year, students have returned to campus and found a new president — one who made history. NAU has welcomed its 17th and first Latinx President, José Luis Cruz Rivera, giving the university plenty to celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month officially begins on Sept. 15, and runs until the same day in October. According to Institutional Resource Analysis, Hispanic students accounted for 25% of NAU’s student population as of 2020, a number that has slowly increased each year. In 2019, Hispanic students comprised 24% of the student body, up from 23% in 2018. According to the United States Board of Education, a university qualifies as a Hispanic-serving institution when Hispanic students make up 25% of the full-time student population. After NAU achieved that percentage in 2020, it officially reached the benchmark of Hispanic-serving institutions, also recognized by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. This allows the university to apply for grants that benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education. Prior to being elected president, Cruz Rivera was executive vice chancellor and university provost for the City University of New York’s 25-campus system. His tenure at NAU began June 14. “It feels like an affirmation of not only the opportunities that are afforded to Latinos in this country but also the willingness of an established institution of higher education to embrace the lived experiences that a Latino president can bring to bear upon its future,” Cruz Rivera said. Cruz Rivera said he has plenty of plans for his tenure at NAU, in addition to supporting Hispanic students in K-12 schools. This demographic often faces adversity due to cultural differences between student and teacher. Even though Arizona has a Hispanic population of 31%, according to Pew Research Center, these students lack representation in the classroom. Mariella Espinoza-Herold, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Specialties, wrote a book highlighting challenges Latinx students encounter in the American education system: “Issues in Latino Education: Race, School Culture, and the Politics of Academic Success.” “Latinos are numerous, but we are underrepresented,” Espinoza-Herold said. “In all of the important careers in the United States, we need more access, social and educational equity. Sixty-five percent of teachers in Arizona are white.” In her book, Espinoza-Herold said she tells stories of what Latinx students endured in getting a college education, including a lack of representation. Further, she explained why some never reached this level, even though they were capable of doing so. Not only is Latinx culture rarely taught in most curriculums, these students are often discouraged from learning as a result of various issues, including language barriers and other difficulties in the classroom. Herold explained that some students grew up speaking Spanish — and learned English in school — but are not experienced enough to reach their full potential. Furthermore, some families are unable to participate in school functions, such as parent-teacher conferences, because of language barriers. These can be intimidating, she added, as some parents may not speak


English and cannot comfortably communicate with their child’s teacher. Teacher frustrations compound the issue because they only deter students from pursuing their education. However, NAU is capable of guiding these students in various ways, one of which involves its teaching program. “We also have a deep responsibility with our K-12 schools … those that are serving large numbers of Latino students,” Cruz Rivera said. “There are a couple ways we exercise our responsibility on that front. One is that we are one of the top producers of teachers and school administrators in the state of Arizona.” Cruz Rivera said he believes NAU’s teaching preparation and certification programs have a responsibility to ensure educators who come out of the university are prepared to serve the Latinx population in culturally sensitive manners. For students seeking education, the support of a teacher goes a long way. Encouragement from the community is also important, and NAU has various clubs to educate students on different cultures and celebrate their diversity. One such organization is the Latinx Student Union (LSU). LSU invites Latinx students to get involved in the community, as well as offering a support system in navigating through higher education. LSU president and senior Jocelyn Cuevas said the


NAU president José Luis Cruz Rivera listens to the deans of NAU colleges share their vision of NAU at the Honors College, Feb. 19. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

“It feels like an affirmation of not only the opportunities that are afforded to Latinos in this country but also the willingness of an established institution of Higher education to embrace the lived experiences that a Latino president can bring to bear upon its future.” – NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera organization is excited NAU has its first Latinx president. She said she believes this will open the door for Latinx students to have additional opportunities, as well as provide more support to their community. LSU is working to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month around the university. The club planned activities for all of campus — not just Hispanic students — such as Lotería Bingo Night on Sept. 22 and a discussion with the Ethnic Studies department about Latinx history on Sept. 30. The club is doing more than celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, as it meets every Tuesday and hosts special events all semester. It educates students on Latinx culture and current events, as well as being receptive to all who wish to learn more, “It’s open to everyone; people don’t need to know Spanish or be Hispanic,” Cuevas said. “We would love to share everything with everyone, [and] we don’t want anyone to be left out.” Even though September begins the transition from summer to fall, it also encourages the community to learn, celebrate and understand Hispanic tradition and heritage. Latinx culture is prevalent at NAU and, even in the face of adversity, these students work hard to seek a higher education. With the Flagstaff community supporting this vibrant culture, more of these students will have the opportunity to succeed each and every year.


SEPT. 17 2021 – SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ plucked at heart strings


o say “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas stunned me is a gross understatement. It is the first book of the series which, in my opinion, is definitely worth the $50+ investment. I was completely immersed in the fantasy world that divided the fae world, “Prythian,” from the human world. Maas’ descriptions of the world that surrounded Feyre, the main character, were utterly breathtaking. In fact, I found it difficult not to daydream about living in her environment. KYLIE The story opens up with Feyre hunting in the SOTO woods. One wrong step could lead to an untimely OP-ED EDITOR demise. If she ran into a fae she would certainly suffer a gruesome death, but if she returned home without something to eat, her family would die of starvation. Suddenly, she spotted a deer in a clearing and noticed that she wasn’t alone in stalking it. A huge wolf appeared, possibly a fae because of the exaggerated size, before it killed the deer. In order to salvage some of the deer meat, she acted quickly by firing an arrow at the wolf and striking its side. Then, it seemingly stared up at her as she unleashed another unforgiving arrow into the giant wolf ’s right eye, killing it instantly. She then skinned the wolf and took the deer home. Upon returning to her ungrateful sisters and sulking father, they are disturbed at dinner by another bizarre animal: A wolf with antlers and razor sharp claws — certainly, a fae. Soon it became clear, this immortal shapeshifter is Tamlin, a High Fae Lord from the Spring Court of Prythian. He demands that his friend’s killer either be executed immediately or serve a lifelong sentence in Prythian, according to a treaty made after an ancient war. Hesitantly, Feyre agrees to go to Prythian, although her hatred for faeries is apparent. On the other hand, Tamlin’s patience is tested every time she aggressively asks a question. Then, it took a classic enemies-to-lovers twist, and the romance was intense. As the story progressed, it grasped at my heart strings while also taking my breath away. Feyre’s stubbornness resonated with me, as she is one of the most hellbent characters I’ve read about in a long time. She is not the average posh princess, nor is she juxtaposed in a way that is meant to make her seem like an outcast. Her character is relatable, but not cringeworthy. The story turns into a passionate tale about fierce love, the trials of mortality and the liberty of a people from the rule of a cruel, yet charming, faerie queen. Feyre is driven until the end, despite life-altering trauma and death-defying tests. All in all, I feel the first book in the series is absolutely worth the read, even if one may not want to purchase the rest. There is just enough drama, lust and action to keep any reader craving more.



Sept. 6 to 12: Live-action remakes and new releases Top five stories of the week: 1. Rapper Cardi B announced the birth of her and rapper Offset’s second child via an Instagram post on Monday, Sept. 6. 2. Actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his roles in “The Wire” and “Lovecraft Country,” died at the age of 54 on Monday. His death was confirmed by the New York Police Department to Variety. 3. The New York Times reported that Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end her conservatorship after 13 years.

New releases: “Star-Crossed” by Kacey Musgraves (album and movie on Paramount+) “Jose” by J Balvin (album) “The Matrix: Resurrections” trailer

“Have Mercy” by Chlöe Bailey (single and music video)

“The Card Counter” starring actor Oscar Isaac (in select theaters)

4. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Jennifer Lawrence and husband Cooke Maroney are expecting their first child.

“Malignant” (in theaters and HBO Max)

5. The live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” which stars Halle Bailey, is set to be released May 26, 2023 according to Variety.

“Kate” (Netflix original movie)

Award show update: MTV Video Music Awards (VMAS): Best new artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Top 15 charting songs: 1. “Butter” by BTS 2. “Stay” by The Kid LAROI featuring Justin Bieber 3. “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran 4. “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo 5. “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA 6. “Hurricane” by Kanye West 7. “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow 8. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa 9. “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes 10. “Jail” by Kanye West 11. “Off The Grid” by Kanye West 12. “Ok Ok” by Kanye West 13. “Deja Vu” by Olivia Rodrigo 14. “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd featuring Ariana Grande 15. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X

“Blood Brothers” (Netflix original movie)

Video of the year: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X Artist of the year: Justin Bieber Song of the year: “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo

Best collaboration: “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA Group of the year: BTS Video for good: “Your Power” by Billie Eilish

A full list of VMAS winners can be found on MTV’s website.

Song data from Billboard’s The Hot 100 chart


Left: Members of Community for Climbers of Color pose in front of their table prior to the showing at Orpheum Theater, Sept. 10. Right: Attendees watch a slideshow of past climbing expeditions prior to viewing Reel Rock 15, Sept. 10. Taylor McCormick | The Lumberjack

Flagstaff rock climbers gather for Reel Rock 15 Film Festival Hannah Elsmore


t the Reel Rock 15 Film Festival, Flagstaff climbers had the opportunity to connect with peers and watch four new films about their sport. Playing at Orpheum Theater on Sept. 10, the movies encompassed a sense of inspiration for climbers of any level, and featured several first-hand stories of determination and self-discovery. The first film shown, “Black Ice,” was about a group of Black climbers from the Memphis Rox gym, who travel to Hyalite Canyon, Montana for an ice-climbing expedition. Their group was accompanied by three mentors who had experience as winter climbers. The story is emotional and inspiring, as the climbers from Memphis had never visited a mountain range or attempted ice climbing. This movie displayed themes of community and connection within climbing circles. These individuals were willing to enter an unfamiliar environment and find comfort in the unknown, while also learning alongside their trusted climbing partners. As the film played, the audience watched attentively. There was the occasional comment or laugh, but the crowd was focused on the story playing in front of them. Senior Alec Garcia has been involved in the local climbing community for several years. After viewing the film “Black Ice,” Garcia said he hopes to see more individuals advocating for diversity in the climbing community. “I love seeing people of different cultures, backgrounds and gender identities in the climbing community,” Garcia said. “It makes it a richer experience for everyone involved.” Garcia emphasized the importance of encouraging new climbers to challenge themselves. The film reminded him that, as a climber, it is important to create spaces that are inclusive to all people. He said climbing has taught him so much about himself

and his strengths, and everyone should have access to such an opportunity. The second film shown was “Action Directe,” a 16-minute film about French climber Melissa Le Nevé and her experience with one of the hardest sport climbing routes in the world in Germany. The film detailed her trials and experiences as she attempted to become the first woman to complete the ascent, called Action Directe. The film displayed Nevé’s struggle with a route that was set and only previously completed by men. This history made the project especially difficult, because certain jumps and holds required more tenacity and athleticism for a woman to complete. She trained for years on end, retraced her steps and memorized different moves. Sport climber and junior Sydney Turnell has climbed for over two years. Since starting at NAU, it has been an important hobby for her. “I do find on occasion that because of my height and size, as climbs get harder you have to find intermediates to aid your climbing,” Turnell said. “Some of the moves were set by men that are taller, which makes it harder to figure out. I find it makes it even more fulfilling when you do figure it out.” Turnell views situations, like the one faced by Le Nevé, as opportunities to push herself even more. She said the only way to fight against such gender-based assumptions is to continue to send as many climbs as possible. To Turnell and other climbers, the sport is a simple way to safely experience adrenaline. Some climbers, such as Alex Honnold, of “Free Solo” fame, or those from “Black Ice,” seek routes that are considered extremely dangerous. These professionals all started somewhere, and at one point didn’t pursue routes that would endanger their lives. What connects all climbers, despite skill level, is their commitment to chasing

discomfort — as Turnell said she does. The story of Le Nevé showed the separation between men and women in climbing. Nevé was one of 26 climbers and the first woman to complete Action Directe. Turnell said her takeaway from the film wasn’t negative. She said being supportive of female sport climbers is a great segue to conversations about overall inclusivity. The third film shown was “First Ascent/Last Ascent,” covering the story of close friends Hazel Findlay and Maddy Cope, who traveled to Mongolia to search for new traditional climbing routes. This story focused on themes of friendship and perseverance, as the pair spent weeks learning about themselves and pushing their physical limits as professional climbers. Turnell said climbing relies on consistency to improve. “As you get better, it becomes harder to improve as much as when you began climbing,” Turnell said. The program illustrated there are always new boundaries to push and pursue as a rock climber. If there aren’t harder climbs to send, there are routes to find and set yourself. The last film, “Deep Routes,” told the story of Lonnie Kauks and his long journey to climb, just as his dad did. He spent years climbing in Yosemite, where his Indigenous family is from, to reconnect with his roots and follow in his father’s footsteps. The featured program showed that rock climbing has functions beyond simple exercise. To some, rock climbing is a way to feel connected with ancestors, as it was for Kauks. It allows them to form bonds with climbing partners and also learn so much about themselves. Whether individuals climb to exercise, push their physical boundaries or spend time outside, the Reel Rock 15 Festival showed the many possibilities that can result from beginning to climb.

SEPT. 17 2021 – SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



Adam Bruce sings from the heart on n Katelyn Rodriguez Adam Bruce plays guitar during a concert at Firecreek Coffee Company in downtown Flagstaff, Sept. 11. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack


f one were to walk past Firecreek Coffee Company on Sept. 11, they would’ve heard the soulful sound of harmonies and guitar strumming, courtesy of Arizona musician Adam Bruce. Bruce has been a musician for 20 years and grew up in a musical family — his mother and siblings sang, while his sister played piano. He said he truly fell in love with music as a teen while listening to a wide variety of genres, such as jazz, blues and classic rock, just to name a few. The Flagstaff resident just released the “Floods of Jericho” extended play (EP) Sept. 3, which is a collaboration between Bruce, bassist and vocalist Quinn Scully of The Senators and Sci-Fi Country, as well as guitarist and vocalist James Mulhern. It contains two songs: “Floods of Jericho” and “Memory’s Cache.” These songs aren’t necessarily folk-sounding, but they’re not strictly country either. Bruce said, ironically, the title track was written two days before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, and it was recorded two days after. “Before [the civil unrest] happened, I was writing about ‘president’s don’t be fascists,’ ‘how could we have known that they’d be parading through the streets,’” Bruce said. “So I went in and recorded it, introduced the band to it and we made it what it is now.” On the other hand, “Memory’s Cache” was written seven years ago. Bruce said he’s always loved the song, but decided to revisit it during the same recording session as “Floods of Jericho” upon wondering what it would sound like with Mulhern’s pedal steel guitar. It then became what is on the EP: A four-minute, folk-sounding song that reflects on the passing of time. Bruce said he relates to “Memory’s Cache” more now as a 39-year-old parent than when he first wrote it at 32. In terms of songwriting, Bruce said the amount of time it takes him to create one varies; for him, it’s like fishing or trying to catch a butterfly. “Sometimes you see something and you

just grab it and you’re like ‘Oh, here you are, welcome. Thanks for joining me,’” Bruce said. “Sometimes you try to go after this thing for years before it makes any sense.” He said music and time are two things that don’t line up when it comes to his writing. As demonstrated by “Memory’s Cache,” he’ll sometimes write a song years prior and not finish it until he decides to go back and play. Other times, Bruce said he could be humming a tune in the car, pull over to write and finish the song in mere minutes. On the other hand, Bruce’s inspiration comes from life. He said he draws from experience, existence and life’s ups and downs. A few of the major topics he writes about are love, death and social awareness. Collaborator and NAU alumnus Scully said he first met Bruce in 2016 during a performance with his old band — Quinn & the Confluence — in which they were on the same bill as Bruce. “I remember it well because it was my first show at Firecreek [Coffee Company], which has now become a bit of a home stage for me,” Scully said. “I didn’t run into him again until the beginning of 2020, when he saw my band Sci-Fi Country play.” Scully said Bruce asked him and Sci-Fi Country drummer Tre Hibbert if they wanted to play some music with him and a friend from Phoenix. They agreed, and Scully said something clicked between them during the session. Scully said making music with Bruce was a unique experience. He added that Bruce’s immense talent as an artist, along with his adventurous spirit, made the creative process great. “Oftentimes when we meet up we’ll take our instruments down to creeks, sing all night under the stars at Hart Prairie or have a deliciously home-cooked meal together on the patio,” Scully said via email. “I’ll forever cherish our time creating, and we plan to continue for as long as time allows it.” Additionally, collaborator Mulhern said though he’s known Bruce for over 20 years, writing and recording together is a new endeavor

“Sometimes you try to go after this thing for years before it makes any sense.” – Adam bruce, musician 16



newly released ‘Floods of Jericho’ EP Firecreek Coffee Company hosts a concert with The Senators, Adam Bruce and Jacqueline & John, Sept. 11. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

from over the last two years. Bruce is full of ideas and works at a fast pace, Mulhern explained, but they balance one another out. “I’m a bit slower and more detail-oriented so we balance each other out pretty well, where he needs some grounding and I could use a wilder eye/imagination in some instances,” Mulhern said via email. “Throughout the entire process there has always been this deep sense of gratitude at just being able to make music at all, let alone things we really love and think other people could hear and enjoy.” Bruce’s performance at Firecreek Coffee Company, alongside Jacqueline & John and The Senators, marked the third time he’s performed live since concerts made their return amid the pandemic. He said he didn’t realize how much he missed performing in front of an audience until they and The Senators played at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix on Aug. 27. Sophomore Bailee Ramsey said she knew about the show because Jaqueline & John were performing, but discovered Bruce and The Senators while in attendance, despite knowing some of their songs. She added that she was impressed by the musicians and loved Bruce’s

performance. “It’s definitely the style of music I would listen to,” Ramsey said. “I didn’t realize I knew their songs until I was here and was like ‘oh, I’m singing the lyrics.’” Ramsey said it was refreshing to experience the live music scene once again, along with seeing the relationship between artists and the music community in Flagstaff. Sophomore Renee Sadler also attended the show, and said she heard about it through a friend who invited her. Sadler didn’t know any of the artists prior to the event, she explained, but still loved the music. “It’s a little different than what I typically listen to, but I really liked watching the guys jam out onstage — I thought it was fun,” Sadler said. Overall, Bruce’s collaborative efforts with Scully and Mulhern on his new EP, which is available on most streaming platforms, allows listeners to experience their music while honing in on relatable topics. It truly shows off Bruce’s dedication to the craft of making music that speaks volumes through its lyricism.

“I’ll forever cherish our time creating, and we plan to continue for as long as time allows it.” – Quinn Scully, Collaborator of Adam Bruce

Quinn Scully plays guitar during a concert at Firecreek Coffee Company in downtown Flagstaff, Sept. 11. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

SEPT. 17 2021 – SEPT. 22, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



BLUE AND GOLD IN ACTION Broncos banking on Bridgewater


he Denver Broncos have struggled with the quarterback position since 2016, when Peyton Manning retired. After winning that year’s Super Bowl, the team has gone through 10 quarterbacks in hopes of finding the right fit. The Broncos had two choices coming into training camp this season: Drew Lock, who had been with the team for KRISTEN three seasons, and new acquisition Teddy CHANCELLOR Bridgewater, who has played in the NFL since 2014. This duo had fans guessing WRITER who’d be starting, but come cut day, the organization leaned toward Bridgewater. Lock had a total of 2,933 passing yards in the 2020 season, but really didn’t produce much in the quarterback role. He had potential, but struggled to find open receivers to make plays. The young quarterback tried too often to make big plays for the Broncos, leading the organization and fans alike to doubt his ability to run the team. Going into the offseason, the Broncos knew someone else was needed in order to make the playoffs again, which they have not seen since the 2015-16 season. Looking at possible options, Denver added Bridgewater to the lineup. Bridgewater had 3,733 passing yards on the Panthers last season and protected the ball without being flashy. Comparing both quarterbacks, Bridgewater outshines Lock. The two players had similar numbers of interceptions, touchdowns and yards, but Bridgewater had a 92.1 passing rank while Lock sat at a 75.4. Lock is someone who looked for big passing plays and fell short more times than not, which landed him the 35thranked quarterback out of 32 teams, and putting him behind some backups. Bridgewater ranked 31st, but is better at short, conservative passes, leading to better chances of moving the ball downfield. Bridgewater was consistent during preseason, showing up against opponents while Lock underperformed. When decision time came, the Broncos had given Lock multiple chances and have not seen a return on their investment. Denver had to visit the idea of giving Bridgewater a chance or trust in Lock’s abilities to put up enough effort to win games. As a Broncos fan, it has been challenging to watch the team struggle with this role. Looking at the stats, however, it seems to be an even playing field with Bridgewater having a slight edge. I think this was the right move, but am still skeptical. Denver is banking on Bridgewater, but will he prove to be what the Broncos need to obtain another championship?



Upcoming Games Volleyball

Recent Game Scores Lumberjack classic

NAU Volleyball vs New Mexico Sept. 16, 6 p.m. Sept. 10 : nAU Volleyball vs UC Davis (Flagstaff, Arizona/Rolle Activity Center) (Flagstaff, Arizona/Rolle Activity Center) NAU (1-6), NM (8-1) Final: (W) NAU 3 - UCD 2 NAU Volleyball @ New Mexico SEpt. 18, 1 p.m. (Albuquerque, New Mexico) NAU (1-6), NM (8-1)

Sept. 10: NAU Volleyball vs Arizona State (Flagstaff, Arizona/Rolle Activity Center) Final: (L) NAU 1 -ASU 3


Sept. 11: NAU Volleyball vs Utah Valley (Flagstaff, Arizona/Rolle Activity Center) Final: (L) NAU 1 - UVU 3

NAU Soccer vs Arizona Christian Sept. 17, 7 p.m. (Flagstaff, Arizona/Lumberjack Stadium) NAU (0-7), ACU (2-3) NAU Soccer @ Dixie State Sept. 19, 12 p.m. (St. George, Utah/Greater Zion Stadium) NAU (0-7), DSU (4-5)

Football NAU football @ UArizona Sept. 18, 7 P.m. (Tucson, Arizona/ARIZONA STADIUM) NAU (0-2), USD (0-2)

Soccer Sept. 9: NAU Soccer vs New Mexico (Phoenix, Arizona/GCU Stadium) Final: (l) NAU 2 - UNM 6 Sept. 1: NAU Soccer vs Denver (Phoenix, Arizona/GCU Stadium) Final: (L) NAU 2 - DU 6

Football Sept 11: NAU Football @ South Dakota (Vermillion, South Dakota/DakotaDome) Final: (L) NAU 7 - USD 34


Lumberjacks are glad to have fans back WIll Hopkins


t is no secret that one of the most exciting parts of college is sports. With the well-documented amount of money collegiate athletics bring in, it is apparent how much both alumni and students love cheering for their schools. Fans at NAU were ready for the return of college sports following a year away. The first week of home games included an impressive crowd in attendance for the football game against Sam Houston State. According to NAU Athletics, the soccer game against GCU at Lumberjack Stadium had the sixth-largest crowd to ever attend a matchup. While Lumberjack fans are excited to be back, another group is perhaps even happier to have fans back in the stands. “It was awesome,” NAU soccer coach Kylie Louw said following the sold-out crowd Sept. 3. “I saw [President Cruz] taking some videos because it was that great.” Soccer fans certainly made their voices heard, letting officials know when they disagreed with calls and booing GCU supporters as they entered the stadium. Coaches and players love having fans in attendance to show their belief in the team, while also making life miserable for the opposition. Spirited crowds can make a big difference in the result of any game and, for this reason, NAU looks to get fans packing the stands week in and week out. With traditions like Running of the Freshmen making their return in Week 1 of football season, and with events like Fans watch as NAU volleyball warms up to take on ASU at the Lumberjack Classic in the Rolle Activity Center, Sept 10. Homecoming right around the corner, NAU fans are excited to Brian Burke | The Lumberjack digitize in order to survive the pandemic, but some things just big win. After completing a three-game road trip, football’s get back into full swing. return in October will once again bring life to Walkup Skydome, “It’s fun being back with people and being able to cheer with weren’t the same online or on the other side of a TV. The pandemic changed life for student athletes who once especially with Family Weekend and Homecoming. Volleyball them,” freshman Brandon Knutson said. “We got our cheer squad coming out for the volleyball games, and it’s so much more fun enjoyed true homecourt advantages. To remain safe, schools across the country opted to heavily limit the number of fans that than just sitting at home and watching.” Alex Lais, associate athletic director and head of Fan could attend games, but the result was college sports changing at Engagement and Revenue Generation, is in charge of these their core. To die-hard fans, the atmosphere would have looked alien compared to any other year. events. He was also eager to get fans back into the stands. Cardboard fans were a mainstay in many stadiums last “It’s what we love to do,” Lais said about seeing fans back at Walkup Skydome. “That’s why we’re in the business of getting season and, with artificial crowd noise that replaced once fans into our stands and displaying student athletes’ talent in unpredictable student sections, college sports just didn’t feel the same. Now, many student athletes who had their first experience front of them.” Lais has been with NAU Athletics for three years, but the at the collegiate level during the pandemic have to adjust to a pandemic was different altogether. With no sports played in completely new environment. “It’s fun to celebrate with your team, but having everyone fall 2020, the spring semester became the marquee time for competition. However, with substantial limitations on the else cheer for you is a whole other aspect,” sophomore setter number of fans allowed at indoor and outdoor events, Lais had a Millie O’Ketter said following the volleyball team’s matchup against ASU. “The band is so fun — shout out to them — [and] tough job in supporting the fans. and soccer will get the chance to play in front of fans again this “Our department as a whole had to get super creative on it just makes it feel more real, like a real college game.” For some, the loss of a year’s worth of events is something month; both squads will surely enjoy having packed houses at essentially how to remain relevant and how to come out of COVID in the best position possible,” Lais said. “I think we did that needs to be made up for. Running of the Freshman has long Rolle Activity Center and Lumberjack Stadium, respectively. For a phenomenal job, of course. We relied heavily on digital events, been a staple of NAU football, but adding the Sprinting of the students hoping to watch their teams play, the best place to check [and] we had our wine and dine event, which has been a staple of Sophomores gave the class that missed its opportunity last year a schedules and matchups is the full calendar. our community for two decades and that shifted completely to a chance to live that moment. With fans back in the stands, players and coaches can once digital format.” Lais named a number of other events that his team helped again rely on having that extra momentum after a big play or

“It’s fun to celebrate with your team, but having everyone else cheer for you is a whole other aspect. The band is so fun ­ shout out to them­[and] it just makes it feel more real, like a real college game.” – Sophomore setter Millie o’Ketter

SEPT. 17 - SEPT. 22, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK



NAU football in the midst of lo

Sophmore wide receiver Hendrix Johnson (10) is tackled by a Sam Houston State University defender, Sept. 2. Jonah Graham | The Lumberjack

Brenden Martin


oming off a hard-fought 42-16 loss to the defending FCS national champions and No.1-ranked Sam Houston State Bearkats, the Lumberjacks looked to redeem themselves as they hit the skies for a three-game road trip that began on Sept. 11 against the South Dakota Coyotes, and continues against UArizona on Sept. 18 and concludes Sept. 25 against Northern Colorado. This is the first time the Lumberjacks have been scheduled for three consecutive road games since 2010, when NAU had a four-game road trip against ASU, Idaho State, Southern Utah and Eastern Washington. The Lumberjacks split that road trip by winning the middle two games. Just like that schedule 11 years ago, this year’s road trip comes at the beginning of the season after a home opener. Except in that year, NAU handled its opponent, Western New Mexico, by a score of 48-0. “Our coaching staff has got to have a plan for it,” head coach Chris Ball said about how to prepare the team for the biggest road trip of the season. “I’ve got to have a plan for it. Our players have got to have a plan for it. You have got to think about what the stadium looks like. Is it gonna be loud? You can’t just talk about it on a Friday, we talked about it at practice [the day after Sam


Houston].” Ball emphasized the importance of developing a plan for long road trips and all away matches. The South Dakota game, in particular, showed why strategizing is important. Vermillion, South Dakota, where the Sept. 11 game was played, is two hours ahead of Flagstaff in Central Daylight Time. Kickoff was at 1 p.m. local time, meaning it began at 11 a.m. Arizona time. At the very least, each of NAU’s opponents during this three-game stretch started on the same foot. South Dakota almost joined the longer-than-usual list of FCS schools that upset FBS schools in Week 1, failing to hold on to a 14-10 lead against Kansas on the road. A late Kansas touchdown with 1:10 left in the game sealed the deal for the Jayhawks. Meanwhile, UArizona was defeated in its first game against Brigham Young University at Allegiant Stadium, 24-16, as the Wildcats were unable to stop the BYU offense. Finally, Northern Colorado lost an intrastate battle against PAC-12 opponent Colorado by a score of 35-7 during a game in which the Bears ran for 20 yards compared to the Buffaloes’ 281. Even though the South Dakota matchup was away, it may have seemed like a homecoming game for a Lumberjacks squad unable to go on the road against nonconference foes during the shortened spring 2021 season. In those six games, including a


cancellation against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, NAU went 3-2 and fell one Weber State 50-yard Hail Mary away from making the FCS playoffs. It was the first time since 2017 that the Lumberjacks finished above .500 — and the first under Ball. Despite the modest achievements and positive steps taken by NAU, the team takes solace in saying the spring season made them better, while also acknowledging the weird feeling of playing during the spring with no fans. “It definitely helped because ... it didn’t really count, but it was a good measuring stick to see where we are at,” redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Widener said. “It gave me a little bit of confidence going into this season, just getting on the field and knowing that I can play.” Widener saw a lot more playing time against Sam Houston State due to an early ankle injury sustained by graduate quarterback Keondre Wudtee in the first quarter. Widener, who completed 21-34 passes for 182 yards over the spring season, practically matched those stats in just one game. In the opener, Widener was 20-of-34 for 274 passing yards, including a 4-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Brandon Porter. The young quarterback still had some struggles in terms of ball security, throwing two consecutive interceptions. One of Widener’s picks was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by


ongest road trip in over a decade Bearkat junior linebacker Trevor Williams, and the two picks matched his spring season total. The struggles continued during NAU’s first road game against South Dakota. After falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter, Widener threw two more interceptions in his first career start. Wudtee, still nursing his ankle injury, did not play. “It was tough,” Widener said. “It’s unfortunate that [Wudtee] got hurt. I wish the best for him. He’s a great quarterback, a great leader. I just went in there and tried to do my job. I have a great team surrounding me [and] they all supported me.” Much like last season, Ball continues to switch quarterbacks between drives. In all five games last season, both Wudtee and Widener made appearances for a decent chunk of playing time. Although it was Wudtee, an Oklahoma State transfer, who got the majority of snaps. This season, Ball has added more players to the quarterback room. Oregon transfer Cale Millen received a little playing time against Sam Houston State, completing two of three passes with a touchdown. He also rushed for 17 yards on five attempts. Millen isn’t the only new face to take snaps at practice, however, with freshmen RJ Martinez and PJ London also on the

roster. Each of them had notable high school careers, but have yet to see the field as Lumberjacks. While it would be quite the move to play either of the inexperienced quarterbacks, Ball may call upon them one day to throw the defense off. “I think it’s awesome. I think it definitely keeps the defense on its toes,” Widener said. “Cale is a great athlete: He can run, he can throw, he can do it all. It adds just another element to our offense.” The Lumberjacks’ offensive variety has also been a bright spot for the wide receivers. Ball said he was impressed with the receiving corps’ ability to gain separation from Sam Houston State’s secondary. The standout receiver against the Bearkats, Stacy Chukwumezie, paralleled Widener’s belief about the multiquarterback system serving the team for the better. The graduate student wide receiver caught six passes for a total of 112 yards and a touchdown. In order to have the numbers Chukwumezie had, he explained the need to gain chemistry with each of the quarterbacks. “There’s not one quarterback I feel more comfortable with,” Chukwumezie said. “I feel like any of these guys can come out

here and do the job. I trust them to make the right reads, they trust me to run the right route. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who lines up in the backfield. I believe we are gonna get the job done.” Chukwumezie caught Millen’s lone touchdown against Sam Houston, an 18-yard pass at the end of the third quarter. Each player seems to be all in on having the three-game road trip because it provides the challenge the team looks to thrive on. This historic road trip didn’t get off on the right foot, however. South Dakota started the game with a huge first quarter of 17 points, and scored 34 unanswered points to eventually win, 34-7. Chukwumezie, yet again, led the Lumberjacks with nine receptions for 95 yards. Now, NAU (0-2) will look to grab its first win of the season against a PAC-12 foe in UArizona and will end the three-game road trip with its first conference foe: Northern Colorado. The Northern Colorado Bears will be playing their first conference game in two seasons, as the school opted against playing in the spring. It will also be Bears head coach Ed McCaffrey’s first conference game since he took the job on Dec. 12, 2019.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Coleman Owen (6) is surrounded by four Sam Houston State University players before he is tackled Sept. 2, 2021. Jonah Graham | The Lumberjack

SEPT. 17 - SEPT. 22, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK




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The Lumberjack -- September 16, 2021  

The Lumberjack -- September 16, 2021  


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