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From the Editor


very single time I had a problem as a child, my mother would look at me with a big smile and remind me to say I’m happy and grateful. I used to despise that. At low moments and through embarrassing periods of my life, what could I possibly have to be happy and grateful for? After a really tough winter break and an all-too optimistic first semester, I find myself caring less and less about what is going on around me. Burnout is beginning to lick at me like a growing flame. After struggling to be a perfect student in high school, hard work equating to an A in college was enough incentive for me to pour effort into having a 4.0 grade point average. I always ask myself why I am not doing more. My passion projects have all but turned to dust. Sitting down to write a page of a story takes so long and they are few and far between. Every time I hear a song I love I kick myself for not playing my guitar. Every time I watch a bootleg musical I feel inspired and then instantly uninspired. Every time I read a new book I feel bad for not touching my journals and blank brainstorming documents. I want the perfect grades, to be seen as a dependable worker and to be OLIVIA fulfilling my creative endeavors, but the truth is I’m tired. CHARLSON Whether I am a go-getter or really just high-strung, I think it’s a natural FEATURES course for students like me to realize that you can’t do it all. I’m here to tell you EDITOR that dropping that second minor won’t ruin your resume and missing a quiz shouldn’t ruin your week. Even though life is hard right now, there is a lot to look forward to. The cynic in me says I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but the idealist says there is so much to be happy about now. I may not have everything I want, but I am still having fun. Who knows, maybe I will get hit by a bus, but I will get my tuition covered in the process. I have to rest some projects on the shoulders of future me and trust that everything will come in time. So, all I can do for now is try. I can throw up a peace sign, cuff up my jeans and put on some lofi while I make it all work. F*ck it. I’m happy and grateful to be alive and kicking another day.

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

THE LUMBERJACK VOL. 111 ISSUE 6 Editor-in-Chief Scout Ehrler

Managing Editor Nathan Manni

Copy Chief Nayomi Garcia

Faculty Adviser David Harpster

Print Chief Jacob Meyer

Director of Digital Content Ash Lohmann

Media Innovation Center Editorial Board Director of Social Media Maddie Cohen

Op-Ed Editor Trinity Archie

Culture Editor Katelyn Rodriguez

Sports Adviser Rory Faust

News Editor Camille Sipple

Asst. Op-Ed Editor Kylie Soto

Asst. Culture Editor Kyler Edsitty

Director of Illustration Aleah Green

Asst. News Editor Mark Fabery

Features Editor Olivia Charlson

Sports Editor Cameron Richardson

Asst. Dir. of Illustration Maddie Cohen

Online News Editor Kylie Soto

Asst. Features Editor Emily Gerdes

Asst. Sports Editor Brenden Martin

Senior Photographer Michael Patacsil

Senior Reporter Molly Brown


Director of Photography & Multimedia Shawn Patti


Senior Photographer Brian Burke

On the cover Bare trees line San Fransisco Street leading to the historic Hotel Monte Vista, Feb. 15. Cole Stewart | The Lumberjack

Corrections & Clarifications The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email Scout Ehrler at see86@nau.edu.

PoliceBeat Feb. 8 At 9:14 p.m., NAUPD received a supervisory alarm from the Ernest Calderón Learning Community. NAUPD responded and searched the area, but the alarm’s cause was undetermined. At 10:52 p.m., NAUPD reported assisting Flagstaff Police Department with a threatening and intimidating call. Feb.9 At 3:46 p.m., a Chemistry building employee reported an unusual odor. NAUPD and Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD) responded and the odor was determined to have been caused by construction work. At 6:51 p.m., staff at the Science and Health building reported a subject shining a laser into the building. NAUPD responded, but the subject had left the area prior to officer arrival. At 8:24 p.m., a shuttle driver reported a motorist had brandished what they believed to be a taser at them and ran a red light at the intersection of Knoles and University drives. NAUPD responded, but the subject had left prior to officer arrival. Feb. 10 At 7:26 p.m., a student reported a subject attempting to steal their vehicle from the Knoles Parking Garage. NAUPD responded and took a report. At 8:22 p.m., a student at Tinsley Hall reported difficulty breathing. NAUPD responded and the student was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center.

Feb. 11 At 9:13 a.m., a student reported a suspicious person near the intersection of San Francisco Street and McCreary Drive. NAUPD responded and contacted the nonstudent, who was then identified. At 1:35 p.m., a student at Gabaldon Hall reported online threats and intimidation. NAUPD responded, but determined no crime had occurred. At 4:26 p.m., a nonstudent at the University Union Fieldhouse called to late-report a nonstudent assaulting another nonstudent. NAUPD responded and took a report. At 9:48 p.m., a student at South Village Apartments reported hearing someone screaming. NAUPD responded, but no criminal activity was witnessed. Feb. 12 At 9:53 p.m., NAUPD initiated a traffic stop at Knoles and University drives. One nonstudent was arrested and booked into Coconino County Detention Facility for a DUI to the slightest degree and open container of alcohol in a vehicle. The vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

Compiled by CaMille Sipple Feb. 13 At 5:25 a.m., an anonymous subject reported damage to an exit gate at San Francisco Parking Garage. NAUPD responded, but the case remains open. At 1:15 p.m., a nonstudent at Hilltop Townhomes reported a subject on campus with a possible weapon. NAUPD responded and found the subject did not have a weapon. At 6:21 p.m, a student called to report an alarm making a “trouble noise” at Gillenwater Hall. NAUPD responded and silenced the alarm. Feb. 14 At 1:33 p.m., a faculty member from NAU Parking Services called to request assistance with broken gates at San Francisco Parking Garage. NAUPD responded and assistance was provided. At 2:11 p.m., a staff member called to report damage to two gate arms at San Francisco Parking Garage. NAUPD responded and took a report.

At 7:57 p.m., a student called to report an individual blowing an air horn from a vehicle at passersby near San Francisco Street and At 11:02 p.m., NAUPD McConnell Drive. NAUPD issued a written warning at lot responded and negative 32 for speed, failure to signal, contact was made. no proof of insurance and no tail lights visible. At 10:16 p.m., a nonstudent called to report At 11:58 p.m., NAUPD an impaired driver that hit initiated a traffic stop at multiple vehicles. NAUPD Pine Knoll Drive and Huffer responded and one student was Lane. One student was cited booked into jail for DUI to the and released for minor in slightest degree, as well as two consumption of alcohol. A counts of hit and run. warning was also issued for a stop sign violation.

Coconino County COVID-19 Dashboard data

Community transmission Case rate Positivity percentage Cumulative cases

Substantial 292 per 100,000 pop. 10.8 15,974

Flagstaff Medical Center COVID-19 Resources

In-house COVID-19 patients Hospital capacity Critical care capacity

Positive: 29 | Pending: 3 198/300 36/55

NAU Staff & Student Cases

Cumulative 2021 Cases


Double shooting in Flagstaff results in one death Camille Sipple


double shooting in Flagstaff left one man dead and another in critical condition Feb. 12, according to a recent Flagstaff Police Department (FPD) media release. FPD reported that at approximately 2:05 a.m., officers responded to an emergency call from the North Humphreys Street parking lot near a Bashas’ grocery store. The release stated two individuals had been shot and upon officer arrival, FPD located the individuals at the south end of the parking lot near a pickup truck. The individuals were identified as 28-year-old Troy Dean Brundle from Mesa and 27-yearold Travis McCluskey from Gilbert. FPD detectives on the scene concluded Brundle had shot McCluskey prior to shooting himself. Detectives also learned the two men were friends and knew each other in advance of the altercation. Brundle was pronounced dead on the scene due to the self-inflicted gunshot wound and McCluskey was immediately transported to Flagstaff Medical Center. FPD stated the investigation is ongoing and is pending further investigation, as well as medical examiner findings.

Read more online at jackcentral.org




Photo Illustration By Aleah Green

Flagstaff’s Homeless Community and Covid-19 Vaccines William combs III


t its surface, one of Flagstaff’s most vulnerable communities seems to be discounted when it comes to vaccination priority. However, the issue at hand runs much deeper than the city turning a blind eye. NAU health sciences professor Katherine Allen compared the difficulty the city is facing around vaccinating the homeless population to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Coconino County and across the United States. “We’re on a ship at sea. Ten people have fallen overboard, seven cannot swim and are drowning, and we have only one life jacket,” Allen said. “Who gets the life jacket?” Allen said the county is currently adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when it comes to vaccination phases. However, the county has not made it a priority to vaccinate the homeless population. “Coconino County is following the CDC’s phases and are currently vaccinating people in Phase 1B,” Allen said. “Next will be people in Phase 1C, who have underlying conditions or are adults living in congregate conditions. Homeless shelters do count as congregate living conditions. Thus, people who have no home


of their own are in Phase 1; they are a priority group.” Allen further explained the U.S. has a long road ahead before reaching herd immunity. “Every Phase 1 person vaccinated inches us toward herd immunity,” Allen said. “But we have a long way to go to reach it. At least 247 million people vaccinated altogether, to be exact, but only about 56 million doses have been sent out so far, according to the CDC.” Flagstaff Shelter Services has been providing shelter and hotel rooms to people experiencing homelessness during this time. In February, the organization began utilizing three hotels in an effort to provide resources to this population. One of these hotels is used for members of the homeless community who have tested positive for COVID-19. During a Flagstaff City Council meeting Feb. 2, Flagstaff Shelter Services executive director Ross Altenbaugh outlined the situation her organization is facing during the pandemic, noting the shelter has grown to maximum capacity. Altenbaugh explained Coconino County has not prioritized this group of the population beyond Phase 1C. “There has been a rise of people who are in


need of more medical care because of COVID, as well as housing and health care,” Altenbaugh said. “We have tried advocacy efforts to move forward, but they are not a priority.” Despite efforts to advocate for prioritization of this group, tensions between the city and the Flagstaff Shelter Services may play a role in the city’s hesitancy to move forward with their requests. During the meeting, Mayor Paul Deasy called out Altenbaugh regarding the multitude of emails and phone calls from the community his office had received concerning the feelings of mistreatment and discrimination against the city’s homeless population. In video of the council meeting, Deasy went on to express his anger and frustration surrounding the matter, bringing up a death threat aimed at his chief of staff and a brick thrown at Deasy’s home. “I feel very strongly that the death threats toward your chief of staff and a brick being thrown at your home is not in direct correlation with what we are doing wrong,” Altenbaugh said during the meeting. Councilmember Adam Shimoni, Vice Mayor Becky Daggett and other councilmembers defended Altenbaugh and the

organization, noting the difficulties Altenbaugh has faced during the pandemic. Councilmember Austin Aslan went a step further by suggesting an executive session, a motion which was unanimously accepted by the rest of the council. Moreover, Deasy said he felt uncomfortable about the possibility of raising the level of funding to Flagstaff Shelter Services at this time. Deasy later drew back on his previous comments and apologized for his conduct in the meeting. As Allen outlined, it could still be a couple months before the homeless population receives their doses of the vaccine, and slow distribution from the federal government has not aided in improving priority for this group. “We would probably need about 500 doses to vaccinate all the homeless people in the greater Flagstaff area,” Altenbaugh said. There is still no word as to when vaccine distribution will start to ramp up across the country, and in response, Coconino County submitted a plea for residents to contact state representatives to demand more vaccines be delivered to the county. As of Feb. 17, the U.S. has recorded over 488,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.


Left: The sun shines down on the Monte Vista Lounge entrance. Right: Hotel Monte Vista photographed in downtown Flagstaff, Feb. 15. Cole Stewart| The Lumberjack

Flagstaff: One of the worst cities for job seekers Mark fabery

N too.

ot only are the temperatures in Flagstaff chilly, but the job market is reportedly ice cold,

According to a study by career site Zippia, Flagstaff came in second among cities with the worst job markets in the United States for 2021. The study dubbed the local job market dry as a desert as the city posted a prepandemic unemployment rate of 7.6% with an average wage of around $20,000. Amanda Postma, the author of the analysis, said the ranking for Flagstaff came from the most recent five-year American Community Survey (ACS) and was then compared with the second-most recent ACS report. Moreover, the data used for the study does not contain pandemic-

related unemployment rates. “Although the unemployment rates used in our study doesn’t reflect the recent fluctuations caused by the pandemic, the data ultimately paints a picture of the overall economic health of Flagstaff and it’s quite grim,” Postma said. The issue of housing affordability has dogged the city for years. Nearly half of all households in Flagstaff are considered low income, while the cost of housing is 33.5% higher than the national average, according to a needs assessment by the city of Flagstaff and Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona. This ultimately led city council to declare an affordable housing emergency with the hope of spurring further action in December 2020. The pandemic has only worsened the crisis as it has taken hold on the

local and state economy. Arizona’s economy has seen a substantial recovery toward its prepandemic peak last February. However, the rate of recovery continues to look harsh for Flagstaff as the city is far from its prepandemic peak. George Hammond, UArizona’s Economic Business and Research Center director, said as of December 2020, Arizona had outpaced the nation as a whole by replacing over two-thirds of the 294,000 jobs lost in the state from February to April 2020, while remaining 90,100 jobs below the February peak. Hammond said leisure and hospitality jobs remained the hardest hit while other sectors have gained much of the jobs lost. “Trade, transportation and utilities jobs were 19,100 above their February level,” Hammond said.

“Whereas leisure and hospitality jobs remained the hardest hit, accounting for just over half of the job gap since February [2020].” Although the state has seen a promising decrease in the unemployment rate, Hammond said the economic recovery has appeared uneven across metropolitan areas statewide. “Phoenix is completely responsible for the state’s job growth since June as other metropolitan areas have created little to no job growth,” Hammond said. “Flagstaff remains the furthest below its February peak, followed by Yuma, Lake Havasu CityKingman, Tucson, Phoenix and Sierra Vista-Douglas.” Flagstaff’s leisure and hospitality sector is a $563 million industry, which employs more than 8,000 employees and sees over 5 million visitors a

year prepandemic, according to data provided by economic development agency Choose Flagstaff. As the travel industry has been pummeled by the pandemic, the state has seen a reported loss of 44,800 leisure and hospitality jobs, which has accounted for 43.2% of job losses for the city in 2020, according to information from the state office of economic opportunity, making Flagstaff’s recovery an uphill climb. Although the state has started to slowly see an economic recovery, it is currently unknown how the Flagstaff economy will reap the benefits, as Hammond noted the recovery has been felt heavily in the Phoenix metropolitan area.







Christian Ayala ARTIST FEATURE


’ve worked for The Lumberjack since the beginning of my freshman year in 2018. Since then, I’ve stayed consistent with enrolling and being a part of the wonderful illustration section. Since freshman year, I’ve made a complete shift from traditional art to digital art and over the past semester, my skills with digital art have grown exponentially thanks to past directors and current colleagues. I’ve also always had a thing for drawing and it’s always been something that I can do to calm myself down and create something entirely from my imagination. Along the way, I’ve inspired other artists with a lot of the stuff I create and it’s extremely flattering that I can create something that can influence other people. Other than my usual digital illustrations, I also paint and create comics, which many people either find really funny or really offensive, but I continue to make them regardless. In the end, however, I’m proud of all my artwork and I’m also glad that I’ve come so far from just drawing random doodles to now creating epic illustrations, pretty painting and funny comics.




Vaccine loopholes unfairly aid the wealthy so many are still fighting to get theirs is disheartening. Though there was a clear lack of judgment on Griffith’s part, she succeeded ith COVID-19 vaccines finally available, many in getting the vaccine before so many others in greater need. people are eager to get their first dose. While the This belies an underlying problem in the distribution process. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set There should be more verification of eligibility for the recommended guidelines for distribution, specific plans were vaccine, at least while phases are still slowly rolling out. left up to individual states. In several states, this means people Griffith told a reporter from The New York Times she had have found loopholes and jumped the line to get their shot. brought a recent pay stub from SoulCycle to the interview, which As the United States approaches one year of restricted life made it clear she was not an eligible educator and thus did not fit in March, people are desperate to get back to some semblance the criteria for the current phase. of normalcy. Generally, people are tired of being stuck at home However, upon arriving at the vaccine site she said no one and are wanting to be able to see friends and family again. The asked to see any verification. vaccine has provided hope and people will do anything to get it. In the same article, reporter Ginia Bellafante presented The Los Angeles Times reported celebrities have been further issues with Griffith’s ability to get the vaccine. As overwhelming medical offices with calls asking how Griffith got her vaccine, thousands of teachers’ they could skip the line and get the appointments were canceled due to dose vaccine sooner. Some offered to shortages. donate thousands of dollars to Griffith later posted an apology vaccine research and testing on her Instagram, stating she made a in hopes of receiving the terrible error in judgment. shot sooner than their This should not be happening, state’s distribution plan. not while thousands of teachers and essential While this approach has workers are being pushed to the back of the been unsuccessful, loopholes in line. Not while People of Color are once distribution plans have been found again being trampled on and overlooked and taken advantage of. In order by white people and the health care for the vaccine to be effective, system. distribution schedules need to At the beginning of his term, be followed as they first target President Joe Biden made it vulnerable populations who are clear he wanted racial most in need of vaccination. health care equity to These vulnerable groups be a main focus of include frontline health care workers, his COVID-19 plan. people above the age of 65, employees in However, gathering long-term care facilities, as well as adults accurate race data with underlying health conditions. from vaccination sites In an effort to stay on track with has proven difficult. Given the set distribution schedules, a better specific vaccine distribution is method of verification needs to be put the responsibility of the states, in place. There have been people there is no set way for individual who have gotten their vaccine by state governments to report race Illustration By aleah green claiming they belong to a vulnerable and ethnicity data. group or a group that has been chosen. In Washington D.C., George Jones, However, upon arriving at the head of the nonprofit agency Bread for the City, vaccine site and not being required to prove their eligibility, they noticed as soon as a local medical clinic received vaccine doses have received the vaccine ahead of others still in need. to administer, they were overwhelmed with new patients, the Famous SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith was able to majority of whom were white. He noted to The New York Times, cut in the line by using a loophole. the clinic normally served the Black community. Griffith received criticism last week after she posted about Certain verification measures need to be put in place so this her vaccine appointment on Instagram. does not occur in the future. It is not fair that People of Color She was able to apply for an appointment in January when continue to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic. New York opened appointments for teachers. She was approved Many people with privilege, be it from money, status or race, later in the month and received her first dose. wrongfully believe they are entitled to receive the vaccine before While Griffith does not work in education, she was able to those with greater need. get an appointment because she technically teaches spin classes, The New York Times reported. The fact that it was so easy for her to get the vaccine while

Tyler Lee


Religion and politics do not mix


any conservatives inserted religion into political debate on subjects such as abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration, following the recent election and for years prior. Of course, there are varying opinions with each of these issues, but I find it alarming when conservatives push their religious beliefs onto anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint. All religions are valid and need to be respected. However, religion does not belong in political debate, voting or HAYLEY legislation. I feel those who mix politics BOSTIAN and religion often disregard the notion WRITER that what they say does not only affect them. These topics affect everyone, no matter what their religion is. It is also important to acknowledge not all conservatives base their opinions solely on religion. I had a talk with a friend who said, in some cases, he can completely omit religion from his argument, but in others there is no way to separate the two, such as his feelings on the LGBTQ+ community. He also gave me an example that put the situation into perspective for himself. As he explained, if one religion, hypothetically, did not believe in eating a certain food and we then banned it for everyone in the United States, this would be inconsiderate to all of those who do not practice that religion. This example could also be used to explain his opinion on abortion laws. We do not all have the same concept of when life begins because everyone has their own beliefs. Abortion could be legal, but every individual could decide for themselves whether or not they will ever have one. Taking away these rights would put women into situations where they cannot get an abortion because of the religious beliefs of other groups. In the end, this is a difficult topic because every person will advocate and vote based on their personal beliefs, whether they stem from religion or not. I think what really matters is deciding if certain rulings will benefit the majority of the group. Laws should not be enacted based on those who believe their religion should determine legislation. Religion and politics need to remain separate. The U.S. is home to a variety of cultures and religious beliefs, so politics should respect these differences. In many instances, there is room for everyone to cater to their own personal religious beliefs. However, lawmaking is not one of these spaces.




community and collectivism must overcome individualism Collin Vanderwerf


n June 17, 2017, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became the world’s wealthiest person after accruing over $90 billion. That same year approximately 9 million people died from hunger. In 2021, Bezos was dethroned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. A study published in the scientific journal Environmental Research estimated 8 million people would die from air pollution caused by fossil fuels from 2012 to 2018. Oppression is the unjust or cruel exercise of power. This is oppression at a scale and depth beyond that of feudalism. Everyone, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, communities, people who share passions, interests, hopes and fears are all being oppressed. The exceedingly wealthy are stealing our money, time, livelihoods and health. They are hoarding in vast, immovable mountains of wealth and great, eroding rivers of power. These bandits have had mythologies written about them that exalt the virtue of their ability to miser away the world’s resources, just out of the reach of the sick and dying. People take these myths to heart and style their lives based on their example. Seemingly in the grips of an intense case of Stockholm syndrome, these strange acolytes jump to the defense of their beloved abusers whenever the ethics of their disproportionate wealth comes up. Meanwhile, the lords of avarice pay others to cover up the ways in which they are destroying the viability of life on this planet as they amass riches greater than that of nations. Many question what these issues have to do with them or their own well-being. We have implicitly come to this conclusion through the use of individualistic messaging within Western society. This mentality implies individuals are responsible for all their successes and failures, and are therefore deserving of whatever those successes or failures entail, whether that be dying of poverty or becoming the wealthiest person alive. For example, oil companies are destroying the planet. They are actively responsible for millions of deaths a year. These companies wag their finger in admonishment and cry that responsibility lies not on the companies, but on the consumers. They suggest it is the audacity to heat a house or refrigerate food that makes all consumers complicit in the suffering of millions. These inconsiderate corporations suggest we should recycle, or better yet, line their pockets by switching to energyefficient appliances. People eat it up. They serve spoonfuls at business schools. They lecture on the imperatives of the free market, consumer choice and deregulation. Child slavery will end when the market is incentivized to make it end. This is mass madness. If the myth of individualism is the pyre on which humanity burns, then collectivism is its savior. Through collectivist action

— time and time again — humanity has seen, shown and reveled in its power to create a better world. The movement for women’s suffrage and the work of feminist activists before and since has created a world in which women are steadily, if too slowly, gaining ground toward a true place of equity. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was a massive collectivist assault on the powers of Jim Crow and segregation and made drastic steps toward justice that, to this day, is still long overdue. These are steps that are being continued by today’s Black Lives Matter movement. The disability community rose up against the state in the ’70s and secured recognition and protection under the law, but are still fighting for justice. Minority groups have fought for centuries against the forces of oppression. These have all been collectivist actions because only communal actions can bring communal gains. Yet, retrospection on these gains often gives more credit to individual icons of these movements, thus furthering the cult of rugged individualism. Thinking of social movements as a matter of timing and waiting for leaders instead of looking for

partners keeps the masses and their potential power inert. Grace Lee Boggs, an activist and philosopher who spent her 100-year life dedicated to community activism, said it best. “We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” Boggs said in an interview for nonprofit story sharing platform StoryCorps. Community engagement skills can be practiced and strengthened just like any other. Volunteer, attend meetings, talk to neighbors, check in with family, meet new people and cultivate ideas from people with different circumstances than your own. Collaborate with others and begin seriously pondering the balance between what you take from the communities you are a part of and what you give in return. It is important to remember that community is boundless and can be extended ad infinitum. However, to get to the point where all of humanity is part of the same community, we have to start small. More importantly, we have to start.




Capstones: An inside gu Michael McClure


apstone projects are a part of all college careers at NAU during junior or senior year, but many students still do not have a full grasp of what a capstone involves. According to the NAU website, a capstone course covers subject material that is at the interface of two or more subdisciplines and is designed to be a culminating experience for undergraduate degree-seeking students. Although words like those may read well on a webpage, it still does not illustrate what students go through when completing capstone courses. Senior Sarah Devenport is studying forestry and was once a nervous underclassman looking toward her capstone with thoughts of angst and uncertainty. Devenport said she found the closer she came to her capstone course, the better prepared she was for it. She said her final project is made up of different groups within her forestry capstone course, which are determined on separate topics that each student chooses from a predetermined list the instructor gives the students. These groups are assembled at the beginning of the semester and then work together on tasks

“My initial impressions of being in this course was that it was going to be a lot of writing papers, and I was correct.” – Brooke Bossen, Senior throughout Coconino National Forest. “The workload has been tolerable,” Devenport said in an email interview. “My crew is great at time management, so we tend to complete our work on a good timeline.” According to NAU’s School of Forestry website, Flagstaff is home to six different climate zones, along with being located inside the world’s largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest. Students’ capstone projects depend on factors such as weather and timing.

Devenport commended her professor for being helpful during what can be a stressful time and explained that finishing strong is crucial for the student and their future. “The forestry capstone professor also teaches silviculture, so I know her style coming into the course,” Devenport said. “She’s absolutely brilliant, but far from an easy professor. She has high expectations of us, so I was nervous. Mostly, I was excited to use my 3.5 years of forestry education and create a project I can be proud of.” Devenport said she recommends students get involved, get job experience over summer break and take advantage of having knowledgeable instructors. Students should remember to stay ahead of the workload because it is the pinnacle of a college career, she said. Although a capstone project in forestry may seem daunting, not all majors require physical teamwork outside of the classroom. Many capstones, like the courses offered in occupational therapy can be completed over a yearlong window compared to a one semester course. Projects stretched over a longer period of time consist of mentorships, and clinical practice and research skills, according to NAU’s website. Occupational therapy capstones are just one variation of many that are integral to achieving any type of degree at NAU. Another example of capstone expectations is the progression plan for marketing within T h e W.A. Franke College of Business. According to its website, marketing degrees emphasize the need to understand consumer behavior and the buying process, conduct market research, along with many other concepts to improve business decision making. Factors like those change the objectives of a capstone because they are not trying to dissect issues of a

“I would recommend figuring out exactly what internship or research opportunity you want to do early on and have a plan for that. Be confident in your abilities, but also be prepared for the workload.” – Senior MaryJane Macias

MaryJane Macias poses for a portrait. Photo courtesy of MaryJane Macias




uide to college’s final step physical being or organism, but rather an organization or business. Brooke Bossen, a senior studying philosophy, politics and law said her capstone has not been too taxing on her thus far in the semester. Bossen explained most of the coursework through her college career has been writing-based, and the writing does not magically go away in the pinnacle class of her major. “My [capstone] class has five papers that we conjoin together at the end to make one large research paper,” Bossen said in an email interview. “My initial impressions of being in this course was that it was going to be a lot of writing papers, and I was correct. One piece of advice that I would give to someone going to take a capstone is get everything done early. Don’t procrastinate because the work will catch up with you and you will regret it!” Garret Karl, a senior studying environmental science with an emphasis in biology, also said the workload is a lot, but manageable. He said his capstone courses include reviewing plans and efforts on invasive species management in Maricopa County. The workload for his project is divided between 3-4 people, he said. According to NAU’s School of Earth and Sustainability website, students with an environmental science major can choose between taking on an internship in the field with real-life settings and experience, or enrolling in a semester-long research project course. “Expect a lot of reviewing of past projects and efforts related to environmental science and studies,” Karl said. “Make sure that you put forth a good amount of effort, even though the work is divided. Your work will reflect how hard you work for your career.” Different majors draw different conclusions in coursework,

Brooke Bossen poses for a portrait. Photo courtesy of Brooke Bossen

“The workload has been tolerable. My crew is great at time management, so we tend to complete our work on a good timeline.” – Sarah Devenport, senior especially when it comes down to the capstone course. By definition, according to the website Colleges of Distinction, a capstone course improves confidence and self-perception, increases the rigor of senior year, hones skills, builds resumes and demonstrates learning and knowledge. Senior MaryJane Macias, who is studying environmental science and sustainability, said she found that following through on her work and being thorough made all the difference. Everyone in her capstone class has to do individual and group presentations

throughout the semester, Macias said. Being in a major that is hands on and experiment-based, she said she needs data that she has been collecting through the last two semesters in order to complete her capstone project, which adds additional stress to an already stressful class. “My capstone is focused on my research I did last semester, and we also have a group project based on plant species and working in a greenhouse,” Macias said. “The workload is pretty heavy because there are a lot of different tasks we have to complete. I was nervous about [the capstone course] and it definitely met my expectations, as there are many responsibilities that come along with it. I would recommend figuring out exactly what internship or research opportunity you want to do early on and have a plan for that. Be confident in your abilities, but also be prepared for the workload.” It can go without saying that capstones can be difficult. They stand as the last test between the college journey and a diploma, however long and enjoyable the ride may have been at NAU. Although challenging, these courses are nothing that a diligent student cannot overcome.

Sarah Devenport poses for a photo at the Logging Sports Competition in Fort Collins, CO. in 2019. Photo courtesy of Sarah Devenport




Educators Rising helps build a community of future teachers Lauren Anderson


s clubs continue to find new ways to engage members and create meaningful connections, Educators Rising has been able to form a community of future teachers. Educators Rising is a club designed to help unite students who have an interest in education. Through its use of panels and interactive activities, it is able to equip students to enter their field of interest. Although the group has been operating under different circumstances since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall goal of the club remains the same. Senior Katelyn Hurst is the president of Educators Rising and said the group caters to those who have an interest in teaching and learning more about the education field. “We have continued our weekly meetings throughout the entire pandemic,” Hurst said. “We take a survey and see what our members want to see from us, so we hold panels like student-teacher panels. That is currently what we have going on this semester.” One of the ways Educators Rising is able to help equip its members for a career in education is by providing them the information and skills they may not receive in foundational education classes. By speaking to members directly, Hurst and other leaders of the club are able to better gauge the type of information members want to see. Senior Elisa Lindemann is the secretary for Educators Rising this year. Lindemann said most of the club’s members are freshmen and sophomores, so the elected officers do their best to make sure members are getting the information they need. It offers unique experiences that allow members to get a wellrounded understanding of their future field. “Through the club we can get guest speakers, like this week our meeting will be about scholarships and the Arizona Teachers Academy, which is something they don’t get to hear about a lot,” Lindemann said. “The panels we do with student-teachers help so they can get more real experience and stories they might not get from their methods course, so we try to give them any kind of extra information they need.” Educators Rising does not only focus on the development of their members’ education skills, but also puts a heavy emphasis on community outreach. Hurst said one of the ways Educators Rising gets involved is with its work with Flagstaff Unified School District. This year, due to the pandemic, Hurst


said the group was unable to participate in the annual food drive hosted in partnership with the Flagstaff Family Food Center. Every October, the club asks for donations of nonperishable food, which can be dropped off in different locations around the NAU College of Education and Flagstaff. “We normally have a ‘trick-or-treat so kids can eat’ food drive in October, and last year we actually raised almost 500 pounds of food,” Hurst said. “I think it’s one of our members’ favorite meetings of the year because we design the boxes and it’s very Halloween-themed. We feel very grateful for what donations we do receive and get to put forth toward the food center in Flagstaff.” Educators Rising is always looking for new members who want to get involved and learn more. Hurst said anybody is welcome to join at any time. Students who would like to get involved don’t have to apply during a certain recruitment week, but can join any Zoom meeting. Additionally, members are able to join without having to pay fees, but can still

participate. “We utilize Instagram a lot and we actually just reached 300 followers the other day, which we are really happy with,” Hurst said. The Educators Rising Instagram account is home to lots of information for students looking to join. On Instagram, one can find posts featuring different members of the club. Additionally, there are Q&A’s to learn more about those involved. The account also highlights the different events Educators Rising is hosting or is a part of. One of the most impactful aspects of the group is its ability to create a community of students who all have a common goal in mind. Many members have cited the group not only as a place to learn, but as a community of people who care. Sophomore Ainsley Brubaker, the social media guru of Educators Rising, said the club is a great group to learn more about the College of Education. “Before joining the club I didn’t really know much, but I have learned so much about the College of Education,” Brubaker said. “It’s

a super fun club to get involved with and learn more about your college.” Freshman Alexa Negrete is currently in her first year as a member of Educators Rising. Negrete said one advantage to meeting remotely is the flexibility for speakers to attend. The conflicts related to commuting and schedules have been minimized because the Zoom platform allows guest speakers to log in more conveniently. “Although we don’t get to do as much community outreach since we are virtual, I don’t want that to scare people away because, like I said, I have only been a part of this club since it has been virtual,” Negrete said. “What we try to do when we have activities [is] go into breakout rooms. Everybody makes friends with this club.” Educators Rising is constantly adapting to the challenges it is presented in an effort to better assist its members. As the club continues to move forward, other members urge students who have an interest in education to check out the collaborative work the group does.

Laura Bohland speaks at an Educators Rising meeting (left) and students participate (right). Jan. 27. Jonah Graham | The Lumberjack



The influence of Black musicianship in the US jacob rimmer

‘Malcolm & Marie’ misses the mark


he highly anticipated Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie,” starring John David Washington and Zendaya Coleman, can be summed up in one word: uncomfortable. The movie is beautifully shot in black and white with camera angles that emphasize the intimacy of the situation by making watchers feel as if they are there. “Malcolm & Marie” chronicles one evening of a destructive couple who hold nothing back in their individual pursuits to win an argument. The movie is categorized as a romance film, but completely misses the mark. In reality, the movie shows an emotionally abusive couple who care very little about each other, which is shown through their attempts to tear each other down. CAROLINE Washington’s character, Malcolm, is a movie TRAVIS director who has just made it big for the first time WRITER following his film about a 20-year-old recovering drug addict. Marie is a failed actress, devout girlfriend and a recovering drug addict. Their fight begins in the kitchen when Marie feels underappreciated because Malcolm forgets to thank her in his movie premiere speech. What continues next is a verbally abusive display of a toxic relationship, and a night of gaslighting and lack of empathy toward each other as the couple argues about the other’s shortcomings. The soundtrack is what made this movie, in my opinion, as it was used as a tool of narration. The characters were seen throughout the movie playing songs for each another that in some way displayed the feelings they couldn’t seem to express with words. Malcolm plays William Bell’s melodramatic 1969 hit “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” to apologize to Marie for forgetting about her in his speech. Lines like “Oh, I forgot to be your lover / And I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you somehow, baby,” show a tenderness toward Marie that Malcolm rarely shows. Ultimately, this movie demonstrates jealousy seen in both characters in such an extreme nature that rids the relationship of kindness and forgiveness often seen in romance. Marie is jealous of Malcolm and his success in an industry she can’t catch a break in. Malcolm is jealous nothing tragic has ever happened in his comparatively privileged life that he can write about, which is seen in his persistence that his film is completely original and has nothing to do with Marie. This movie has an ambiguous end as the couple is seen reuniting after a night of fighting as the sun rises. “Liberation” by Outkast featuring CeeLo Green plays in the background with the line, “There’s a fine line between love and hate, you see,” perfectly encapsulating a movie where, as a watcher, I constantly wondered if they even liked each other. While I thought it was a beautiful movie, I think the film came dangerously close to romanticizing an abusive relationship. This movie is not a love story, even though the sparingly sweet moments between the couple might paint it to be.


Richard, though still popular, did not receive the same level of recognition for their accomplishments. Still, many prominent white bands of the 1960s gave credit where it was due. Both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones credited Black music as a great influence, according to an article by Slate. Others artists like Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan sought to break the chains of racial conformity through the messages in their own music. This tumultuous decade brought the years of racial incongruity to a head in the form of the civil rights movement, and out of this fire came one of the most influential African American artists of all time: Jimi Hendrix, who was once an unsuspecting rhythm and blues guitarist backing the likes of Little Richard and the Isley Brothers. Widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Hendrix was an electric pioneer who not only explored the potential of his instrument to its greatest limits, but utilized what were previously considered undesirable sounds like amp feedback to develop a blanket of effects in a realm entirely of its own. As stated in an article by Rock Archive, a website dedicated to the history of rock ‘n’ roll, Hendrix’s creativity and heavy guitar riffs spawned the early development of hard rock music and metal genres, which are still popular to this day. Through his creativity, Hendrix still maintained the importance of his influences, such as Albert King and B.B. King, both of whom were African American blues musicians. That is not to say African American artists have, at any point in history, had equal opportunity. Even today, Black musicians continue to struggle with the industry, and many feel they are exploited in the process. In an interview with Rolling Stone, one Black manager spoke about the current condition of the music industry: “If I don’t want to be exploited by the music business, I know how not to be exploited by the music business — I don’t sign a contract.” It is evident the realization of Black musicianship has been a long, dark road marred by generations of racism and bigotry. However, this long-sustained suffering is largely what has made Black music so emotionally powerful, like a perpetuated echo of a centuries-long struggle. Regardless of reasoning, the influence of Black music is undeniable. “In America, you’d be hardpressed to find a long-standing musical tradition that isn’t either largely created by, or greatly influenced by, the music of Black Americans,” Scarnati said.

he birth of African American music precedes its rise in popularity in the 20th century, and is dated all the way back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. According to Soundfly, communication between slaves was severely limited during this period due to a purposeful separation of cultures by their captors, such that alternate methods of communication needed to be developed. Music thus became something of a language through which slaves of different African demographics could express their culture, passion and sorrow. According to a PBS article, singing in itself became a form of communication in the midst of the slave trade. Slaves originating from different tribes and cultures utilized this not only to seek out their peers, but also to convey emotion to those who may not understand their native tongue. Despite the clear exhibition of cruelty and intolerance for the new arrivals in the United States, white plantation owners in the South encouraged the practice of Christianity and allowed Sunday to be a day of rest, which granted the slave population time to worship, play instruments and eventually develop the foundation of gospel music, according to Soundfly. Entirely new musical techniques began to solidify from this period of emotional inspiration and loss of culture. The blues scale and free-form soloing were inklings of new genres that expressed the adversity African Americans then faced, most notably in blues and jazz. Years later, in the 20th century, these expressions were consolidated into commercially successful approaches to music. But this was not without a struggle: Black musicians continued to be overshadowed by their white counterparts, despite their creation and cultivation of these genres. “We find that the most commercially successful recording artists were white bands and white jazz musicians covering and adopting the style of the great Black jazz swing orchestras: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford and many others,” NAU School of Music professor Blase Scarnati said. “Given the racialized nature of the country and the music industry, white artists were most certainly privileged over Black artists.” Especially in the era of rock ’n’ roll, which developed structurally out of traditional blues, white musicians like Elvis Presley maintained the spotlight, while Black Illustration By dominic davies musicians like Little




LEAP hosts virtual paint night for NAU students Annika Beck


n Feb. 11, NAU’s Leadership, Engagement, Activities and Peer Mentoring (LEAP) office held a Virtual Paint Night for students with all supplies provided. Undergraduate students were encouraged to express their artistic abilities and take a break from schoolwork. In the LEAP office located in the University Union Fieldhouse, there were paint supplies that all guests had access to before the paint night. Director of student life experience, Joey Ruiz, and administrative associate of student life, Destanee Reckeweg, were both present during the event. Reckeweg led the students in a painting of an saguaro cactus with a sunset in the background. Freshman Sierra Dalbec was one of many who attended the virtual event. “I have participated in three previous paint nights and attended another NAU virtual event, which was bingo night,” Dalbec said over Instagram direct message. “I love to attend these paint nights because it’s always so relaxing and I love to paint. I’m not very good at painting, but it passes the time and I always have fun.” Dalbec wasn’t the only one who had participated in a LEAP virtual event before.

Freshman Ashley Zoephel has also participated in a paint night and a virtual bingo night as well. Additionally, Zoephel touched on how these virtual events help her relax from her coursework. “I’ve done virtual paint night twice and also attended a virtual bingo night,” Zoephel said over an Instagram direct message. “I attended last night because I needed a relaxing break from my busy work. Art isn’t really a big part of my life. I do occasionally like to paint and do crafts.” Both Zoephel and Dalbec said they hope they can attend more in-person events in the future. Dalbec heard about the event through her Peer Jack mentor. Other students who attended the paint night were a range of ages, majors and artistic backgrounds. Despite the virtual setup, many students were able to interact with the artist leading the group and others on the Zoom call. However, Dalbec talked about the hardships of virtual events and the benefits of being present in person. “I think it would be a great way to meet more people,” Dalbec said. “I think I would feel more connected if the paint night took place in person, but for the most part I do feel involved and connected at NAU.” According to LEAP’s website, its mission

is to create opportunities for students to lead, engage, have fun and celebrate being a Lumberjack. The center provides a variety of virtual events such as karaoke, bingo, cookie decorating and tie dye, among others. Junior Carly Cabral participated in her first LEAP virtual event, which was paint night. “I had never done any NAU virtual events before,” Cabral said. “So this was my first one and it was a lot of fun. I decided to attend because I’ve always wanted to and it seemed like fun and just a good stress reliever.” Even though painting is not a big part of Cabral’s life, she still enjoys the peace and joy painting brings her. Cabral also talked about attending future virtual events and even inperson NAU events after COVID-19. LEAP creates a Lumberjack experience by providing students a way to get involved and connected once they come to college. There is a wide range of activities throughout campus to help build a community for its students. “I definitely would attend events like this once the pandemic is over,” Cabral said over Instagram direct message. “I heard about this event through an email I got from the LEAP staff at NAU. I feel a little more connected to NAU just because it’s nice that our campus puts thought into doing nice things like this for its

Left & Right: Destanee Reckeweg leads students in the LEAP virtual paint night Feb. 11. Cole Stewart | The Lumberjack



students.” About 50 people attended the Zoom call, with some students in groups of four calling in from a single device. LEAP sends out weekly emails about upcoming events and opportunities available to undergraduates. Zoephel was one of many students who learned about the event through the LEAP emails sent out to NAU students. She also follows its Instagram page that promotes new and upcoming events. Zoephel also talked about how she felt more connected to her school after the event. “I do feel more a part of NAU after this event,” Zoephel said. “Considering I’m from out of state, I felt like I was welcomed into the campus community. I highly recommend taking advantage of the events on campus! They really are fun.” Once the pandemic is over, Zoephel said she looks forward to attending these events in person so she can meet new people and undergo hands-on experience with the campus environment. LEAP provides a wide variety of opportunities and events for students to get to know each other. Whether virtual or in person, these events help students in many ways.


‘Night Music’: Another chapter of Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra Jacob Rimmer

Photo Illustration By Jacob Meyer


ntroducing “Night Music,” an online concert that brings the experience of live classical music into the household. Hosted by the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO), the program will showcase pieces by composers Vincent d’Indy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gary Carpenter and include a variety of related activities. FSO executive director FSO Larry Lang said the event is intended for “intimate evening gatherings ... our program includes songs and dances, a beautiful serenade and even a musical game of billiards.” The concert, along with its activities, will be held exclusively online due to pandemic safety restrictions. While some may wonder about the lack of intimacy inherent to online communication, the arrangement of the event is a special opportunity in itself that will allow a variety of audiences to participate. Enjoying professional musicianship without the formality of a concert hall has made it easier than ever for FSO to integrate a variety of potential listeners who may not have had the ability to physically attend a concert in the first place. Now, those interested in attending may do so at whatever time they please, with the leisure and comfort of home. The change in arrangement from in-person to digital broadens the program’s outreach, and FSO has altered its approach to advertising accordingly. FSO public relations intern Valerie Pietrczak said the organization has advertised “Night Music” primarily through newsletters and Facebook, which has a different audience than FSO usually reaches. While the constraints of a formal, in-person concert are withheld in this instance, the FSO is concerned with the attendance of its usual audience. “Some people do not have the technology, and others might not be familiar or comfortable enough with technology to take part in this new form of delivery,” Pietrczak said. “Our goal right now is to retain the

interest of our audience despite the pandemic.” Besides the change in format, the number of performing musicians has also been adjusted to accommodate social distancing guidelines. “We only have small groups of musicians performing at a time — seven to 10 people in addition to the conductor,” Pietrczak said. “The musicians are seated to accommodate for physical distancing and wind players wear special masks, either with a hole for the mouthpiece of the instrument on the front or side of the

mask. Brass players also have horn covers on the bell of their instrument to limit the spread of particles.” This smaller-scale instrumentation alters the blend of a full orchestra ensemble, and will allow the participating musicians to explore another side of orchestra music apart from full orchestration. This showcase from FSO will be an exciting deviation from the usual full ensemble. FSO has only held one other previous virtual concert, an event from January called “Musical Stories,”

so the online format is still a new frontier to be explored. Despite the obvious difficulties stemming from the current state of live entertainment, the transition revealed a public desire to keep the music alive. According to its website, FSO has noticed “a growing interest in the welfare of the organization” as the fate of live showmanship ultimately lies in the hands of the public. So, not only will participants get the chance to enjoy the passionate intensity of an orchestra ensemble and other related activities in the comforts

of their own home, but they will also garner the satisfaction of supporting a local organization that is dedicated to cultivating quality entertainment, even in the midst of a pandemic. “Night Music” is available beginning Feb. 20 for $25 via Vimeo, and once purchased, viewers may enjoy the concert anytime at their convenience until the end of the month.




Not all teams deserve to play in March Madness


he 2020-21 college basketball season approaches its long-anticipated postseason a year after March Madness 2020, the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, was canceled due to COVID-19. Some teams are battling for seeding while others fight for their postseason lives. Before the tournament tips off, conference tournaments help set the field and determine the automatic bids from mid-major conferences. I enjoy conference tournaments as it feels like an appetizer for the main course of the tournament, giving us all-day action leading up to Selection Sunday. However, there is one major issue with conference tournaments, and every season it rears its ugly head: lastplace teams competing for a spot in the SEAN tournament. CLARK While I understand the point of WRITER having last-place teams creates more chaos for March Madness, it ruins the urgency of winning in the regular season and cheapens the grind. There is a realistic scenario where a team could go the entire regular season without a single win, but can go undefeated in the conference tournament and make it to March Madness with fringe bubble teams missing out instead. For example, the University of Nebraska sits at 5-13 with a 1-10 conference record, putting it last in the loaded Big Ten Conference. Delaware State University sits at 1-12, with an 0-7 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Do either of these two teams deserve a chance at college basketball’s ultimate competition despite not having single conference win? They do not. Putting these teams in the conference tournament eliminates the necessity of these teams needing to win in the regular season, as they can just win four or five games in the conference tournament and lock themselves in for the postseason. It feels like college basketball’s equivalent of a participation trophy, and it lessens the value of an already underwhelming regular season system. My solution for this is not to eliminate the conference tournaments, but reduce them. Depending on the size of the conference, it should be cut down anywhere from four to eight teams, each with the 14-team conferences having six- to eight-team conference tournaments. In 2019, the Ivy League tournament only had four teams, allowing for only the top half of the league to compete for a March Madness berth. The best teams should be rewarded for their strong regular seasons, and the worst teams should not have a clear path to the ultimate tournament in college basketball. Stop giving out participation trophies for the losing teams and let the best compete for a spot in the Big Dance.



NAU WBB’s drive for social justice Will hopkins


020 was a year that will have an impact on society for the foreseeable future. Many political issues were brought to the forefront not only because of the United States presidential election, but because of the events that took place throughout the year. Black Lives Matter (BLM) picked up steam following documented cases of police brutality across the country. The protests sparked by these events will long be remembered and these protests have continued into 2021. In a year defined by

the COVID-19 pandemic, many sports teams are trying to do their part in order to bring attention to the issues. At NAU, this is no different. NAU women’s basketball has been at the forefront of oncampus protests. The team marched prior to the election in November 2020, but perhaps its most impactful protest this year has come prior to games. The team has not been present on the court for any national anthem this year. “In the summer, we were having all these conversations about what we could do,” senior forward Khiarica Rasheed said. “I feel like every year we have a conversation about what we’re gonna do for the national anthem, and this year has been special

SPORTS in the midst of everything going on and the fact that our whole team collectively came together.” Rasheed’s name was a common thread with those close to the team. She is a significant part of team leadership on the court, but that is dwarfed by her leadership off the court and in regard to social justice. “We brought it up and immediately everyone was on board,” Rasheed said. “It was like, ‘I’m with you and whatever you want to do.’” Redshirt junior forward Nina Radford said that she is fortunate to have a team so receptive to what players do before games. Bringing awareness to social justice issues is not new to the program. From shooting shirts to individual protests, the Lumberjacks have been trying to bring awareness to this particular issue for years, but the program decided to take it a step further this season. “Our program has always been very involved, but this year we wanted to be a little more outspoken in the amount of awareness that needs to be brought, because clearly Colin Kaepernick kneeling didn’t bring enough awareness,” NAU head coach Loree Payne said. In addition to the national anthem protests, the Lumberjacks have been active on social media. Prior to every game, one member of the team chooses a Black life to highlight and presents that person’s story to the rest of the team and staff. That person is also highlighted on the team’s social media prior to games. The team dedicates all of their games to those people and while the anthem is playing, they have a moment of silence followed by saying the name of the person they are honoring. The unfortunate reality behind protesting during a pandemic is no fans are in the stands to witness the protests. The team runs onto the floor just in time for the announcement of the starting lineups. NAU has moved the national anthem to 10 minutes prior to game time, but this was not something done by the rest of the Big Sky Conference. “I think that most teams are more focused on what they’re doing as a team,” Radford said. “They don’t really notice or pay attention. I’m sure they notice that we were not out there for the national anthem, but as far as I’ve heard, no one’s had any issues with it.” For fans who are wondering how they can support the Lumberjacks in their protests, the answer is simple. “Retweets, likes and quote tweets,” Rasheed said. “I feel like when we first started, there were a lot of people retweeting and I still feel like that now. I’m proud to be a Lumberjack.” Payne said she has seen a lot of positive feedback from what the team does on social media. The battle is not one that will end overnight and it is a movement that many people have raised awareness around for generations. “All my life I’ve had to battle back and forth with having that hope and thinking, ‘Yep, it’s just the same thing,’” Rasheed said. “We just have to figure out how to navigate it and I feel like I’m not the only person like that. There’s a lot of People of Color like that, specifically Black people, who go through that constant battle of having hope versus ‘It is what it is,’ and I think right now I have more hope. “There are times where I dip under and I’m like I just gotta survive, just gotta survive, but then something happens,” Rasheed added, “For instance this year, there’s times where I’m like no the hope is there, the hope is there or a Black woman in the vice president’s office. We’re making strides here and there but it’s just a constant battle. Right now I would say I am more hopeful for the future with Black Lives Matter. It’s a tough, ongoing process every day.”

Top: The NAU women’s basketball team marches by the Student Academic Center Bottom: The NAU women’s basketball team marches in protest on south campus, Nov. 3, 2020. Photos courtesy of NAU Athletics




Seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt sits in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary | Getty Images

Feb. 18, 2001: How Dale Earnhardt’s death forever changed NASCAR Cameron Richardson


magine if the most famous athlete in a sports league, who is only seconds away from the greatest victory in his career, tragically lost his life in a split second. This is what happened to Dale Earnhardt on the final lap of the final corner during the 2001 Daytona 500. Going down the backstretch, Earnhardt ran in third behind two of the cars he owned at Dale Earnhardt Inc. Between turns three and four, Earnhardt was clipped by Sterling Marlin, turned up the track and collided head-on with the outside retaining wall. Earnhardt’s cars finished 1-2 in the race, but the celebrations were eliminated instantly as attention went solely to the health of Earnhardt. At 5:16 p.m. that evening, Earnhardt was pronounced dead from a fatal basilar skull fracture. The NASCAR world was frozen, stunned and shocked that one of its greatest athletes had died on the sport’s biggest stage. From there, NASCAR dedicated itself to never have another death on its tracks. Since that fateful day, drivers have walked away unscathed from worse crashes than Earnhardt’s. Multiple cars have endured flips, head-on collisions similar to Earnhardt’s and have even ended up in the catch fence on numerous occasions. The technological advancements in safety have saved the lives of current drivers and protected them from getting severely injured in major incidents. Two of the biggest safety advancements are the Steel and


Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier inserted around tracks on the outside and inside retaining walls, and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device. The SAFER barrier was first installed in 2002 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Due to its success, almost all tracks on the NASCAR circuit installed the barriers by 2015. The barrier uses large foam cartridges that absorb the force of the impact to reduce a violent whiplash reaction from the driver. Notable examples of the SAFER barrier protecting drivers from serious injury or death include Brad Keselowski’s severe collision at Auto Club Speedway in 2007, Regan Smith’s crash at Talladega Superspeedway in 2011 and Eric McClure’s high-speed accident at Talladega in 2012. The HANS device goes around the neck of the driver as they enter their car. There is a latch on both sides of a driver’s helmet where a tether will secure the driver’s head and neck to the rest of their seat. The restraint reduces neck tension by 81% and the total neck load by 78%. In an interview with Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass, NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon attributed the HANS device to saving his life during a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2008. “Everything else in my body moved, stretched and was so incredibly sore in the days following that,” Gordon said. “I don’t think my head would’ve withstood that without the HANS holding it back.” Further safety advancements were made to the current cars ran in the NASCAR Cup Series, and the technology was put to


the ultimate test at the Daytona 500 last year. Cup Series veteran Ryan Newman was a few hundred feet away from winning his second Harley J. Earl Trophy at Daytona, but as he came to the finish line, he was turned by fellow driver Ryan Blaney and slammed the outside wall. The angle of Newman’s impact flipped the car over and he slid upside-down in a shower of sparks. One disturbing replay froze the NASCAR world once again as driver Corey LaJoie plowed into Newman’s car on the driver’s side going around 200 mph. The impact shot Newman’s car high into the air, and he landed upside-down and slid toward the infield before coming to a complete stop. Thousands of fans at Daytona and millions watching at home believed they were staring at a coffin rather than Newman’s No. 6 Ford car. Two days later, Newman was photographed walking out of the hospital with his two daughters by his side. Newman sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries from the crash. In an interview with ESPN’s Ryan McGee, Newman made it clear the safety advancements saved his life. “I would not be an alive racing driver today sitting here,” Newman said. After 20 years, NASCAR has never been safer. While the threat of injury still exists with the abundance of crashes in the sport, it is because of Earnhardt and his legacy that have saved the lives of numerous drivers and will save others for years to come.







Profile for The Lumberjack

The Lumberjack -- February 18, 2021  

The Lumberjack -- February 18, 2021