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A HEATED HOMECOMING CELEBRATION PAGES 18-19

THE LUMBER JACK OCT. 21, 2021 – OCT. 27 2021


Online at JackCentral.org

From the Editor

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ruth be told, I wish I was funny and could write a letter as entertaining as News editor Mark Fabery’s, but that’s not what you’ll get from me. These past two-and-a-half months, I’ve found myself walking around campus kind of in a daze. Whether it’s due to time lost from the pandemic or my inability to keep track of it, I still feel as though it’s my first year at NAU. I’m graduating in December, and while I’m longing for the day I never have to write a discussion board post again, the closer I get to my graduation date, the more bittersweet it all seems to feel. It’s funny, there’s moments when I feel as though I can’t stand another day in Flagstaff and others when I never want to leave. This town can be suffocating at times, but I still find TESS myself missing it when I’m away. STAFFORD I know it’ll be hard to say goodbye to my friends and to the monotony ASST. NEWS EDITOR of school that has been directing my life for the past 16 years. Once I complete my degree, I’m starting a new chapter and moving to California — Los Angeles, to be specific. Though the stress of finding a place to live, finding a job and starting over almost entirely terrifies me, what’s keeping me going is the endless opportunities I’m about to unlock. What’s keeping me going is living in the same town as my best friend and sister again. Those who know me know I’m very spiritual and truly believe everything happens for a reason. With manifestation and the guidance of the universe on my side, I know it’ll all turn out the way it’s supposed to. Thank you for reading.

Stay up to Date with Flagstaff City Council Online at Jackcentral.org

Online at Issuu.com Latest Edition & Archive

THE LUMBERJACK VOL. 112 ISSUE 9

Phone: (928) 523-4921 Fax: (928) 523-9313 Lumberjack@nau.edu 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

Social media

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

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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 Asst. Sports Editor Will Hopkins

THE LUMBERJACK | JACKCENTRAL.ORG

Director of Illustration Diana Ortega Director of Multimedia Shawn Patti

On the cover Senior Erica Barndt twirls burning batons and dazzles the crowd, Oct. 14. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

Corrections & Clarifications In Volume 112, Issue 8 of The Lumberjack, a story titled “Health Care Theater classes test out nursing students” published with an incorrect byline. Shay Maruna wrote the story. The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email Nathan Manni at nem233@nau.edu.


PoliceBeat Oct. 11 At 12:18 p.m., officers reported arresting a nonstudent on an outstanding warrant at University Union. NAUPD booked the subject into Coconino County Detention Facility (CCDF) on a felony warrant and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. At 2:20 p.m., a student reported their vehicle was missing from lot 13. NAUPD responded and located the car in another part of the parking lot. At 6:03 p.m., a staff member reported a student had been struck by a vehicle in the intersection of South San Francisco Street and Mountain View Drive. NAUPD responded and took a report, but the student refused medical attention. At 7:04 p.m., a student reported their vehicle was missing from lot 65. NAUPD responded and located the vehicle in another parking lot on campus. Oct. 12 At 10:09 a.m., a Student and Academic Services staff member reported a nonstudent who slipped on ice. NAUPD, Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD) and Guardian Medical Transport (GMT) responded, but the nonstudent refused medical transport. Officers took a report for information only.

compiled by mark fabery

At 5:29 p.m., an Old At 2:06 a.m., an officer Main staff member reported reported assisting FPD with a a group of people yelling at hit-and-run. passing vehicles. NAUPD responded, but the subjects left At 5:11 p.m., a Gabaldon the area prior to arrival. Hall resident reported suspicious activity. Officers Oct. 13 responded and took a report At 10:44 a.m., a for assault, domestic violence University Union employee and disturbing the peace. reported a student undergoing a seizure. NAUPD, FFD Oct. 16 and GMT responded, and At 1:06 a.m., Flagstaff the student was transported Communications Center to Flagstaff Medical Center reported a nonstudent in need (FMC). of medical attention at Drury Inn & Suites. NAUPD, FFD At 2:41 p.m., a Sechrist and GMT responded, and the Hall resident requested medical nonstudent was transported to assistance with abdominal FMC. pain. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the At 9:16 a.m., a McConnell student was transported to Hall RHD requested medical FMC. assistance for an intoxicated student. NAUPD, FFD and At 8:43 p.m., an Allen GMT responded, and the Hall RA reported damage student was transported to to a room placard. NAUPD FMC. The student will be and University Safety Aides criminally deferred for minor responded and took a report. in consumption of alcohol at a later time. Oct. 14 At 4:13 a.m., a Health At 7:42 p.m., a Professions custodian reported McConnell Hall RHD finding all the exterior doors reported threatening and unlocked. Officers responded intimidation in progress. and checked the building, NAUPD responded and but no criminal activity was booked one nonstudent into witnessed. CCDF for false reporting. At 7:53 a.m., a Roseberry Apartments resident reported feeling suicidal. NAUPD, FFD, GMT and Terros Health responded. The student voluntarily went to the Guidance Center.

At 11:11 a.m., a student Oct. 15 reported hearing a thud in At 12:57 a.m., a student an Adel Mathematics locker. reported a subject who was NAUPD responded, but no sitting in a vehicle for several criminal activity was witnessed. hours at Hilltop Townhomes. NAUPD responded and At 3:42 p.m., a student learned the subject was a reported the theft of their Hilltop security guard. vehicle’s catalytic converter in lot 32B. NAUPD responded and took a report.

Oct. 17 At 1:30 a.m., a nonstudent requested assistance with finding his hotel near North Quad. Officers responded and provided assistance. At 4:26 p.m., a student at SkyView reported someone hit their vehicle and fled the scene. NAUPD responded and took a report. At 9:28 p.m., a Sechrist Hall RA reported damage to multiple room placards. NAUPD responded and took a report.

NAU will require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees Mark Fabery

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AU joins Arizona’s largest public universities Friday to announce via email the university would require all employees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8, as directed by the Biden administration’s executive order. This announcement includes undergraduate and graduate student employees. President José Luis Cruz Rivera noted in the email the university respects individual opinions regarding the vaccine and will permit religious and disability or medical accommodations as allowed by federal law. Moreover, Cruz Rivera said the university is currently working through final details for how employees will submit their proof of vaccinations and additional information regarding issues. “We recognize that some of you may have questions around medical or religious exceptions, as well as how to ensure your proof of vaccination documentation has been received,” Cruz Rivera said in the email. “We are currently working through final details and will provide links to FAQs and additional information regarding issues such as dates for doses based on the type of vaccine to meet compliance requirements on our HR website.”

NAU announces Fall 2021 in-person commencement Mark Fabery

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AU announced on its website that in-person commencement will resume for the first time since the pandemic began, with the university’s Fall 2021 Commencement at the Walkup Skydome. According to the NAU Commencement tab, Fall 2021 Commencement will be held Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. for graduates of the College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences, College of Education, College of Engineering, Informatics and Applied Sciences, NAU Online, NAU Yavapai and NAU Yuma. The College of Health and Human Services, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the W.A. Franke College of Business and the College of Arts and Letters will hold commencement ceremonies at 3 p.m. Moreover, NAU has announced plans for a special in-person celebration in the spring of 2022 to recognize the academic achievements of the classes of Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Information will be posted soon at the nau.edu/commencement page and graduates will be emailed important information regarding registration.

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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Flagstaff City Council is expectin Camille Sipple

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early a year after the last local election, individuals are already submitting their statements of interest to run for council or mayor in Flagstaff’s 2022 election. According to the city of Flagstaff website, there are three statements of interest for the mayoral position. The interested parties include councilmember Regina Salas, Vice Mayor Becky Daggett and current Mayor Paul Deasy. The city requires each candidate to obtain a minimum of 1,602 petition signatures and a maximum of 3,203. If each of the three potential candidates are able to collect the required signatures by June 23, 2022, a primary election will be called on Aug. 2, 2022. In the event that only two of the potential mayoral candidates obtain the minimum number of signatures, no primary election is necessary. In terms of council seats, anyone who has submitted a statement of interest must also obtain the minimum number of petition signatures — 1,602 — in order to be considered for the position. Currently, the only incumbent listed to run for a city council position is councilmember Austin Aslan. However, the deadline to submit a statement of interest, for either city council or mayor, is not until April 4, 2022. Flagstaff resident Amee Byers has called the city home for nearly

16 years and is also the owner of Shanti Salon. After watching councilmembers and mayors come and go over the years, Byers said she hopes the community votes for a mayor who is going to help the city progress and work productively with other members of council. “When I look at someone as a potential mayor, I think, well, are the people of the city willing to work with you and trust you?” Byers said. “Do they like you? Are they going to go to bat for you? Because when all of those things happen in a leadership role, you get things done because they actually want to work with you and look out for our city’s best interests.” From her point of view as a resident, Byers explained the council seems chaotic. Put simply, Byers said the mayor often has their own agenda, inhibiting some of the council’s work, even though councilmembers are attempting to work together. Decade-long Flagstaff resident Austin Kerr also explained the importance of a bold and effective council to lead the city toward improvement. Legislative change begins at the local level, Kerr said, and councils such as Flagstaff’s have the power to show state legislators what the real problems are. Despite those within Flagstaff City Council sharing similar goals, Kerr explained it is easy to see how ineffective and dysfunctional it has become in the past year. “In years past, it seems that councils have had split political ideologies and have been able to work more effectively than our current council that has a supermajority of one ideology,” Kerr said. “This is a rare moment when we have six councilmembers who tend to agree politically, [but] it seems that we aren’t using that advantage to get real stuff done fast and efficiently.” In regard to functionality over the last few months, Deasy said council has provided the city with results. Council initiated the start of several policies and plans since the last election, such as a crisis response team, broadband advancements and the city’s latest Carbon Neutrality Plan, Deasy said. Daggett noted she also believes the council has been operating fairly well. The council has been able to work through any difficult conversations or issues in a productive manner, Daggett said. In terms of how the council has been

running thus far, Aslan said the group tends to have varying viewpoints and occasionally disagrees. However, Aslan noted his goal is to remain positive and continue doing what is best for the city. “I think there are some issues at the top, and that’s unfortunate,” Aslan said. “But I think those are issues we need to work out internally, and I’m not here to herd tigers. I’m here to carry a positive vision for Flagstaff, and that’s going to have to happen no matter who the other six people [on council] are.” Aslan said he chose to run for council re-election because he does not feel he finished everything he originally set out to accomplish, as a member of city council. An item that is often at the forefront of his mind, Aslan explained, is Flagstaff’s Carbon Neutrality Plan and the city’s overall environmental efforts. The recently passed plan aims to help Flagstaff become completely carbon neutral by 2030. Overall, Aslan said he believes being a city councilmember is a great fit for him, and he truly enjoys all the work he is able to do to aid the Flagstaff community. He said he is unfamiliar with the other potential council candidates — as of now — but is looking forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of them. Both Deasy and Daggett said they are excited to move forward with their 2022 mayoral campaigns. Deasy said he decided to, once again, submit a statement of interest for the mayoral seat for a variety of reasons. The main consideration being, however, that he believes he is the only viable person for the job because his goals include making meaningful change within the city and envisioning the community’s needs as a whole. Regarding the stance he plans to run on, Deasy cited his accomplishments over the past several months. Change is the key to a healthy community, Deasy said. Those same changes, he added, are what ultimately motivate his aim to continue within his current city position. Deasy also explained following the status quo and appeasing everyone has never been within his frame of mind while going about city

“There’s a lot that the government locally does that impacts students on a daily basis. So it is just so important that we have better working relationships, and elections are the cornerstone of that relationship.” – Flagstaff City Councilmember Adam Shimoni 4

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NEWS

ng to see new faces come fall 2022 business. “Change can be uncomfortable,” Deasy said. “I am here for meaningful change. And that takes an individual who’s willing to push the envelope, to reach farther than sometimes we can reach in order to push toward a direction that will change things rather than remaining within the status quo.” Comparatively, Daggett said she is the one for the job based on how much she has already serviced the community as a whole. She has aided and worked within education, nonprofit organizations and for the city’s economic development program. Observing the current mayor’s actions and reactions was the final push to put herself on the 2022 campaign trail, Daggett said. “My concerns have only grown, and I thought ‘This is the time; I’ve got the experience,’ [and] ‘I have the skills. Let’s do it,’” Daggett said. A potential mayoral campaign between herself, Salas and Deasy will be an interesting one, Daggett said, because they are extremely different candidates. However, Daggett explained her overall connection to the community could help voters decide in her favor. “I would say [this] to the community: You know me and you trust me,” Daggett said. “You may not always agree with me, but I know that I have built that respect and trust over a couple of decades in this community.” Salas said she has remained steadfast in her priorities and values since being elected to council in 2018. In regard to her mayoral bid, she said she is now looking to elevate her service to the community along with furthering her current goals for the city. Some of Salas’ aspirations include diversifying economic sectors, promoting tourism and protecting

natural areas. Salas said she has also witnessed a lack of unity within the city’s current council. “It’s concerning to admit that the current council is fragmented and lacks cohesion,” Salas said. Since both Deasy and Daggett were recently elected into their respective positions, Salas said she believes they do not necessarily have the experience a successful mayor needs. Through her four years on council, Salas explained she is knowledgeable on the legal proceedings, city policies and diplomatic relationships that are necessary in keeping Flagstaff functional. As of publication, councilmember Adam Shimoni has not submitted a statement of interest to return to his city council seat due to the uncertainty of his plans. However, Shimoni said he believes in the community’s ability to elect a mayor who will push Flagstaff back in the right direction — one of action and change. “I’ve always been a big believer in letting the community decide and letting the public make the decision,” Shimoni said. “I think that is a beautiful process. I have faith in the community electing who it is that they believe would best serve us.” Shimoni also noted the immense disconnect between the NAU student community and Flagstaff’s local government. During council meetings, the student voice is the one that is consistently missing, he said. Elections are a significant part of local politics and one of the main ways students can get involved and have their voices heard within the community, Shimoni said. “I spoke to a class last week on campus, and no one could tell me who our mayor or councilmembers were,” Shimoni said. “There’s a lot that the government locally does that impacts students on a daily basis. So it is just so important that we have better working relationships, and elections are the cornerstone of that relationship.” Shimoni said he invites anyone and everyone living in Flagstaff to join city council for Tuesday meetings at 3 p.m. in Flagstaff City Hall. Individuals have the option to either attend in

person or virtually. General public comment is typically the forum used by the community to communicate directly to their elected officials, and is often one of the first items on councilmembers’ agendas, he added. Though Byers said she believes Salas, Daggett and Deasy are each quality representations of what the city needs in a mayor, she also noted that, due to his actions as mayor over the past few months, Deasy has a lot to prove in order to win. “I just really hope that Flagstaff votes based upon how we are going to work together to move things forward and progress things forward because, as a local who struggles like a lot of the rest of us and works hard, it’s frustrating when the same problems are here year after year,” Byers said. “I really hope we find a council and a city staff that can move us forward and work together to make progress. I hope the locals see that versus spewing more division — that doesn’t work, and that is not what our community is about. Our community is very strong in supporting one another when we are down, and we need that to relay into the council as well.”

Left: Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy Center: Flagstaff Vice Mayor Becky Daggett Right: Flagstaff City Councilmemeber Regina Salas. All three have announced intentions to run to be the next Flagstaff Mayor. Photos courtesy of city of Flagstaff

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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NEWS President José Luis Cruz Rivera speaks with The Lumberjack Editorial Board in the Media Innovation Center, Oct. 18. Brian Burke| The Lumberjack

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Ask the Prez: NA


NEWS

AU’s Cruz Rivera fields student questions Zachary Fogle, Junior, Mechanical Engineering Joerjia Majorczak, Freshman, Psychology “How can students new to Flagstaff get quickly acquainted with the NAU Mountain Campus? As a freshman, I’ve had a hard time finding my way around the university.” I am new to NAU as well, so we are in this together! I have made it a point to participate in as many events, activities, and traditions as my schedule will allow – and I try to walk to at least one new area of campus each week to get to know our beautiful Mountain Campus. This is the perfect time to explore new things and figure out what you enjoy. Step out of your comfort zone a bit and try things you have never tried before. As an undergrad I was fortunate to be in the company of dozens of my former high-school friends so things were a bit easier. But later on as a grad student, I found that joining the student government and a recreational league softball team were good ways to learn about the campus, the people, and the traditions. I went the softball route at another university as a new administrator and found it to be equally rewarding. I encourage you to find your “softball” here at NAU through the numerous clubs and organizations that bring vitality to our university’s life. I asked our Vice President for Student Affairs, Margot Saltonstall, for her recommendations since she has been at NAU a lot longer than me, and here are a few of her suggestions: Student Affairs has mentoring for new students to connect to campus and engage in the NAU community. We also held all kinds of opening events including taking student downtown to the [Flagstaff Community Farmers Market] on a ‘field trip” and getting connected to a mentoring group would help a student be more aware of these events/opportunities. Here is a list of diverse opportunities to get involved from the Dean of Student’s Office website. Here is a list of student experiences from our Student Affairs team. Be sure to check with your college as most have a variety of clubs and groups in which you can connect with faculty and students in similar programs or seeking similar degree. The Native American Cultural Center is open MondayFriday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and students can come by to study in the gathering room, picking up an individually wrapped snack item, free coffee/hot tea, or using the computer lounge. If you’d like help getting connected, please give our team a call, 928-523-5181. That’s why we are here.

“I’m considering changing my major, but I’m already three years into pursuing it and I’m afraid of setting myself back. If you were in my shoes, what would you do to stay poised and confident when second-guessing one’s career path?” That’s a great question, and you’re definitely not alone in thinking through this. While there are no easy answers, you can be confident in your choice by carefully considering the important trade-offs. First, I would urge that you make sure your new career vision truly demands a change in major: While some careers demand specialized training, all majors will prepare you with critical skills and competencies that will help you across a wide spectrum of careers. This will be particularly true if you combine your current major with a minor or a certificate that moves you toward your new direction. You’re right that changing your major after three years may cause some delay to your graduation, but that delay will be smaller if your new career path can be supported through a related major with some similarity (in your case, another engineering program, for example). No matter what you choose, you’ll always have the knowledge you’ve earned so far and will always be better off for it. And any delay you experience may be well worth it if your new career direction is more aligned with your passions and your values — and if it’s a direction that will lead you down a path you’ll be proud of. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help: Your faculty and our career development office will have valuable perspectives on how your major can help you reach your career goals, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them. And our academic advisers can help you navigate the change. Most importantly, I would urge you to discuss this with your family, friends and a trusted mentor — everyone’s path through higher education is different, but none of us make it through without the help of those closest to us.

President Cruz Rivera answered six total questions from NAU students. Read the remaining responses online at jackcentral.org.

Megan White, Senior, Public Health “My epidemiology professor told me COVID-19 cases are in a worse place now than they were a year ago. Even with mandating mask-wearing in classrooms, I still worry for our safety as students. What can be done to make us feel more protected against COVID and the Delta variant?” All of us at NAU are acutely aware of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing impacts to our lives. Our goal at NAU is to provide an exceptional educational experience — filled with the full richness of in-person instruction and extracurricular engagement at our Flagstaff Mountain Campus — while continuing to keep health and safety for our students and our broader community topof-mind. And our results to date demonstrate that with the full support of our university community and the proper mitigation measures in place, we have been able to achieve this goal. Our NAU team consults regularly with health care providers and experts to ensure our practices are adapting to the current science around the virus. We will continue to listen to experts, follow the science, and make informed decisions that are transparently communicated to our community to inform our approach to COVID-19 — this fall and into the future. NAU has many mitigation measures in effect this semester, built on the experience of the previous year, as well as advancements in science and understanding of the virus. First and foremost is vaccination. This is our best protection against the virus and significantly limits the risk of serious health impacts. When high levels of vaccination are combined with mask-wearing, distancing, and a robust testing program that detects the virus early, we are able to pursue our studies and our passions in this new normal. To help us all stay safe, I encourage a few key steps: Get vaccinated — it’s quick, easy, and available [on campus.] • Get tested — we are asking members of our NAU community to get tested on a voluntary basis. I encourage you to do so to help screen community health. In addition, just go get tested if you feel unwell or think you may have been exposed to the virus. Again, it’s quick and easy and conveniently located at the [University Union Fieldhouse.] • Follow masking and distancing guidelines. • Practice good hygiene at all times. • Contact your health care provider or Campus Health Services if you feel unwell. • Stay home if you are feeling sick to limit the risk of transmitting a cold — ­ or COVID — to others; and encourage your friends to do the same. It takes a community-wide effort and commitment to health and safety, but I am proud of all that we have done this year to navigate COVID-19 and its variants and I am confident that we can continue to do so in the future. Check Jacks are Back as a hub for information and you can visit our COVID-19 page for weekly updates on testing and the like.

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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NEWS

Terros Health Leading FPD’s Alternative Response Model SOphia Swainson

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t the Oct. 5 city council meeting, Terros Health was awarded the contract for Flagstaff’s Alternate Response Model mobile care unit. The public health service will support the city’s police and fire departments by responding to substance abuse and mental-health related 911 calls. Prior to the contract’s approval, Flagstaff Deputy City Manager Shannon Anderson presented the scope of the mobile care unit’s work to city council. These specifications were drafted by a team of city and tribal officials, community members and representatives of the Criminal Justice Institute and the NARBHA Institute. Anderson stated the police and fire departments responded to just over 9,000 substance abuse and mental-health related calls in 2020, an increase of nearly 10% from 2019. In order to alleviate pressure from the high volume of crisis calls, Anderson explained alternate support will be available 10 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit aims to reduce the police and fire department’s calls for service by 5 to 10%. “Adding this additional response team to address substance, mental, behavioral or crisis-related calls is of great service to the community,” Anderson said. “It frees up the fire and police departments to respond to calls needing their expertise and uses behavioral health professionals where they’re needed.” Anderson described Terros Health’s mobile care unit as offering a more appropriate level of care to individuals in need, while also being better equipped to deescalate sensitive situations. The unit, operated from a van, will consist of a behavioral health professional from Terros Health and a emergency medical technician (EMT). The van will be outfitted with supplies like food, water, blankets and toiletries, Anderson explained. Items of cultural value, such as sage, abalone shells and cedar, will also be included to help Indigenous community members feel more comfortable while receiving help from the mobile care unit. To ensure those operating the mobile care unit are prepared for each call they respond to, several oversight positions will be filled to assist with the procedures, training and development of the unit. The health director of Northern Arizona Crisis Services, the senior director of Crisis Services, a clinical manager and a lead crisis specialist will offer the unit consultation and management. The unit’s impact will be measured by monthly, quarterly and annual reports, which provide data that can be used to determine whether the service is meeting the community’s needs and to record any trends for further analysis. These reports are designed to assess the unit’s performance in responding to substance abuse and mental health-related 911 calls, as well as diminishing arrests, bookings and prosecutions for crisis-related calls. Flagstaff Fire Chief Mark Gaillard explained how, as the mobile unit responds and gains more experience deescalating crisis calls, Terros Health, along with the police and fire departments, will develop the unit to benefit the community as much as possible. Gaillard noted the knowledge gained from the unit’s operation will serve all involved in learning the most effective ways to serve those in need. “I want to remind everyone that this activity is such a high-

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volume activity in our community that no single unit is going to address the need,” Gaillard said. “We can make a big impact, we can take some of the stress off our police and firefighters, and the emergency part of the services we provide certainly is something that’s important, but it’s not a panacea to the demand.” As the unit interacts and gains familiarity with the community, the developments made will create possibilities for expansions that can come closer to meeting the described demand. Gaillard referred to the current state of planning as a starting point, from which Terros Health and first responders are open to change. Sgt. Odis Brockman, Flagstaff Police Department’s public affairs officer, described a positive outlook for the outcome of the unit’s support. “It’s going to allow officers to be more proactive and be able

to do more community engagement, [like] get out of the car once in a while and say hello to people, instead of [giving] a wave as we’re passing because we’re on the way to another call,” Brockman said. In addition to having more interaction and engagement with the community, Brockman explained officers will have the opportunity to respond to calls more quickly and to use the best resources for each situation. As more aspects of the alternate response care model move toward approval, such as a care center that would provide a home base for the model’s efforts, the crisis response offered by the mobile care unit will be expanded in the future. This mobile unit will provide the first glimpses as to how, specifically, the alternate response model will impact the community.

A Terros Health Van sits outside of its office Oct. 17. Terros Health has recently partnered with the Flagstaff Police Department to send out social workers and emergency medical technicians on a case-by-case basis. Madison Easton| The Lumberjack


COMIC SPOT

OCT. 21- OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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OPINION-EDITORIAL

The people vs. Dave Chappelle Josh ostby

Spreading the Squishmallow gospel

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line of egg-shaped stuffed toys called Squishmallows hit Walgreens shelves in 2017. Popularity rose steadily until 2020, when the Squishmallow craze exploded. Since their debut, 73 million of the cuddly animals, foods and pop culture characters were purchased. According to a Toybook report, Kellytoy, the company SYDNEY that produces Squishmallows, sold 50 STANIEC million of them by February 2020. In the WRITER first six months of 2020, however, their sales tripled. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, depression, isolation and loneliness soared worldwide. This time of uncertainty and isolation sprouted the need for companionship. These feelings, and possibly the need to remember happier times, made many turn to Squishmallows for support. Thus, they became a symbol of comfort throughout the pandemic. Squishmallows are staples in dorms across the nation. While people of all ages enjoy the plushies, Generation Z is primarily responsible for driving the Squishmallow movement. They have used social media to spread the Squishmallow gospel, and fans created “SquishTok,” wherein users share their hunts and coveted collections. Squishmallows have become sought-after collectibles, contributing to a controversial reselling culture. Those originally priced at $10 are often resold at exorbitant prices based on demand and perceived rarity. There is a “rare” Squishmallow called “Bella the Black Spider” that can run up to nearly $300. However, the price of Squishmallows ranges from $3 to $60, depending on size. A 16inch “Bella the Black Spider” should be around $40, not $270. The price gouging that occurs when it comes to reselling Squishmallows has inspired one collector to start a petition. The creator said greedy scalpers prevent children, collectors and parents from getting Squishmallows. An explanation for rampant Squishmallow scalping lies in the idea of artificial scarcity within the community. Artificial scarcity is defined as “the scarcity of items, even though either the technology and production or sharing capacity exists to create a theoretically limitless abundance.” In reality, there are enough Squishmallows to go around. The idea that a product is “limited edition” or “rare” can be a slippery slope for overconsumption. Continue to love, collect and cuddle with Squishmallows, but consume responsibly and be considerate of other enthusiasts.

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omedian Dave Chappelle just released the last comedy special tied to his contract with Netflix, aptly titled “The Closer.” Chappelle, having made a name for himself as provocateur-extraordinaire, delivered material that might have left people with a sour taste in their mouths. So, in standard fashion once again, the public is debating a cliche topic: Is it OK for comedians to make jokes about any and every thing? If one believes in the importance of the First Amendment, the answer is easy: Of course it should be. In “The Closer,” Chappelle attempted to cover a range of topics in 72 minutes, most of which seem to have the sole intention of pushing buttons. He discussed COVID-19, Asian hate crimes, Magic Johnson and something about “space Jews” all in the first 10 minutes. It’s content that was engineered to offend. After controversy following the 2019 release of “Sticks and Stones,” Chappelle’s show creator decided, instead of following the standard route of backing down or making an apology tour, he would double down in “The Closer.” It would take a defensive approach toward his material, being his observations about the LGBTQ+ community and transgender individuals, in particular. Jokes made at the expense of the transgender community are not exactly ones I found tasteful or even that funny — in fact, this was my least favorite special of his — but he maintains a right to make them all the same. Critics compare his commentary to hate speech when, in reality, it's just speech they hate. It's a matter of sensitivity. My sympathies go out to those who feel offended or marginalized by Chappelle’s newest set of jokes, but in the context of our democracy, the cries for cancellation are worrying. Some claim “hiding behind the First Amendment is childish.” Well, even a child should understand the importance of the right to free speech. Calling for Chappelle to be deplatformed has the implications of homogenizing beliefs and ideology, the diversity of which are necessary for unregulated public discourse. For those who don't share the beliefs of the loudest in the room, the threat of removal from that dialogue is antithetical to progress. Speaking of being the loudest in the room, the fundamental role of comedians emerges: To be able to express ideas that are possibly shared by others, in addition to not suppressing anything for anyone, while making jokes and unifying diverse crowds through laughter. Chappelle, a Black comedian, spoke of the plight of the Black community for most of his special. That community, which has a history of cultural discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, is

who Chappelle is speaking on behalf of. Compared to the slow progression of Black civil rights in the United States, he expresses frustration toward the swift adoption of the LGBTQ+ community in popular culture. He’s honest about the learning curve he had to overcome, living in a society of new pronouns and a list of marginalized groups that updates each time Twitter refreshes. Chappelle has a right to represent his confusions, frustrations and angers toward a community without it being misconstrued as transphobic in the media. Nowadays, for an average person, being incriminated as such could mean losing their livelihood. Luckily for him, if this special got taken off Netflix, it wouldn't negatively impact Chappelle's career. He would still be seen as one of the greatest to ever hold a microphone and, likely, given the trend of skyrocketing sales in the wake of canceled artists, he would gain a temporary boost in popularity. I'm sure even these media controversies work as well as free advertising. But it's not only about Chappelle. I couldn’t really care less about a rich and successful celebrity, nor his issues. Another part of free speech is the freedom to criticize, and if he wants to spout inflammatory and unflattering opinions, he has to endure the backlash of said opinions. That is what discourse is. He shouldn’t have to be silenced for his perceived word crimes, though. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, whose platform hosts much of Chappelle’s content, has made his stance on this issue clear. “We don’t allow titles (on) Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line,” he wrote in a memo obtained by Variety. This controversy is just another example of people miscommunicating the intent of a comedian like Chappelle, and missing the point of what he’s always set out to do: Making taboo topics normalized in conversation and, hopefully, funny. To me, it's a sign of progress that this conversation is being had on such a large scale because that means eventually, an understanding will be found between both sides. However, that can't happen with closed lips and repression of thought. There's also simple ways to avoid this outrage. That Netflix original content, as much as people portray otherwise, is not mandatory to watch. As Chappelle said in “The Closer,” “It's not like I followed you to your car making jokes at you.” What is being shown today is that some people in the U.S. don't seem to mind the erosion of the First Amendment if it means they don't have to hear words that offend them. This is dangerous, because the same thing could happen to anyone at any time given the volatile nature of our fragile nation. The phrase has been repeated ad nauseam but still holds true: Either it’s all OK, or none of it is.

Illustration By tonesha yazzie


OPINION-EDITORIAL

Transphobia is comedic fool's gold Kylie Soto

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t took less than 24 hours to piss off the country. Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix comedy special “The Closer” was released Oct. 5, and within a day, Twitter overflowed with outrage regarding his overtly transphobic comments. As Time put it, “‘The Closer’ is even more obsessed with the subject [than his previous Netflix specials], as he weaves in and out of the topic over its 70-minute runtime. He jokingly (and perhaps half-truthfully) calls himself ‘transphobic’ several times.” He makes a compelling argument in the special, however: Queer white people continue to oppress Black people. Still, his jokes center around this idea of the existence of transgender people being humorous. According to Time, “He expresses discomfort at being ‘tricked' into calling a trans woman beautiful, likens trans women to white people wearing blackface and compares the genitalia of trans women to plant-based meat.” These comments are ignorant and bigoted, but unsurprising given Chappelle’s track record. In a tweet that criticized the comedian for his comments, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) responded to a NPR article and stated “Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.” The organization is correct. Chappelle has a history of lampooning transgender people; in his 2018 Netflix special “Equanimity” he mocked Caitlyn Jenner for being named Glamour's Woman of the Year in 2015, saying, “Caitlyn Jenner was voted Woman of the Year, her first year as a woman. Ain't that something? … Never even had a period, ain't that something?" He also imagined a situation wherein a transgender woman “tricked” a man into having sex with her, on top of using a slur throughout the segment. Based on the Time article, “He also aligns himself with J.K. Rowling and calls himself ‘Team TERF,’ stating, ‘gender is a fact.’” For context, TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and is used to refer to someone who stands for equal rights and social liberation for all women — except transgender women. Now, before touting the notion of cancel culture, let’s take a gander at a Pew Research study's findings on the concept. The nonpartisan fact tank found 58% of respondents felt calling people out on social media represents accountability, as opposed to the 38% who felt doing so is unfairly punishing people who didn’t deserve it. Even if the public wanted to punish Chappelle, the fury was merely a slap on the wrist for the comedian with a $50 million net worth. Despite the nation chastising Netflix for the special, nothing has changed. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos released a memo addressing the backlash: “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do,” Sarandos said. “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a longstanding deal with him.”

To me, this suggests Netflix is in it for the money, because, according to Bloomberg, Chappelle’s specials are generally the most successful compared to other comedians. Though Netflix is dealing with damage control, Chappelle is still tied to a contract with the company in which he is paid “$20 million a special,” as referenced in a Page Six article. On top of this, Bloomberg was informed “Netflix spent $24.1 million on “The Closer,” slightly more than the $23.6 million it paid for Chappelle’s 2019 special, “Sticks & Stones.” By comparison, the streaming service spent $3.9 million for “Inside,” Bo Burnham’s recent 90-minute Netflix special. Although, it could be argued that Netflix more or less condones Chappelle’s behavior, as Sarandos also said “Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: Entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace.” Personally, I don’t consider transphobia to be “artistic” or “entertaining.” Clearly, I’m not alone in that belief as many, far more important people and organizations have called out Chappelle in similar fashion. Jaclyn Moore, a transgender woman and producer of the popular Netflix series “Dear White People,” tweeted she will no longer work with the company because of the special, along with Netflix’s refusal to remove it due to bigotry. Moore even tweeted about her lovely experiences with people who work for Netflix. But, ultimately, she said it’s difficult to continue working for a company that is tone-deaf to the gravity of the situation. Chappelle also talked a lot about the oppression of Black people. But what he failed to realize is that Black transgender people are members of both communities — their identities aren’t mutually exclusive — and so far, they have been killed the most in 2021. A Human Rights Campaign article stated “2021 has already seen at least 40 transgender or gender noncomforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.” The end of the article concluded “fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color — particularly Black transgender women.” I cannot fathom glossing over the disproportionate amount of violence this particular group faces, simply because I don’t “understand,” as a Time article stated about Chappelle. With the same idea in mind, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, wrote to Deadline: “With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence.” He also called for the special to be removed from Netflix, to no avail.

Illustration By Tonesha Yazzie

As a reminder, Chappelle faced nothing more than a fuming Twitter feed for a day. Contrastingly, three Netflix employees, including transgender woman and former engineer Terra Field, were reportedly fired for taking issue with the company’s adamant refusal to remove the special. However, the company maintained it “suspended Field, along with two other employees, for allegedly trying to attend a director-level meeting they weren’t invited to,” according to Vogue. If anyone wants to spark the discussion of people being “unfairly punished,” I think the focus should be on those who stood up for what was right, rather than compromising their core values for a job. Further, I feel hiding behind the First Amendment right to free speech is weak — cowardly, even. Given the circumstances, it’s equally as immature and tired as a middle schooler inciting it when they say something inappropriate in their seventh grade English class. As mentioned, accountability isn’t equivalent to societal sensitivity. For people who hold similar beliefs to Chappelle, the internet doesn’t give room to hide transphobia without facing repercussions, which Chappelle clearly doesn’t have to worry about because he’s already rich and famous. Even if the point of his comedy is to push the boundaries of people’s comfort regarding ideas he deems problematic, he shouldn’t anticipate a standing ovation when he acts ignorant.

OCT. 21- OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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FEATURES

falling for Snowbowl’s Go Amarjyot Bining

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rizona Snowbowl provides a number of services to the public, including skiing, snowboarding and scenic rides. It was established in 1938 with people from different states and countries coming to visit. Resort staff have created some exciting plans this fall, such as rides and hikes. Snowbowl general manager Robert Linde said the resort features skiing for all levels, so anyone is welcome to join. Additionally, it offers equipment rentals to use on visits. “From the gondola ride, you can see the tops of the mountains and the leaves changing color, with it being fall,” Linde said. “The lift is about eight minutes up and down.” Linde said his most memorable experience at the resort was on top of the mountain before guests arrived, when the views and snow conditions were incredible. He said it was an interesting and solitary endeavor. Lift operator Corey Carter has worked at the resort for four years. “I visited it once with my friend from NAU, and I had so much fun there [snowboarding] and decided to work there the following year,” Carter said. “It’s amazing seeing people visit from different backgrounds. It’s such a fun job to have because we’re getting paid to have fun and go board.” To catergorize the different levels of terrain, and similar to other resorts, Snowbowl features a system that involves colors and shapes. A green circle is for beginners, a blue square is for intermediate riders and a black diamond is for

advanced visitors. This structure helps people know where to go, Carter said. As an addition to the resort, Arizona Gondola opened roughly a year and a half ago, replacing the old Agassiz lift. The old ride took nearly 30 minutes to get to the top, whereas the new gondola takes approximately eight minutes, Carter said. The upgrade is much faster, and viewers get to choose between chairs or cabins. “There are honestly beautiful views,” Carter said. “I have been working all summer, and I’ve been managing the Snowbowl scenic gondola. It takes people to the highest points, and you get to see loads of nice views. If you look to the left you can see the south rim of the Grand Canyon, [Flagstaff] and the dome at NAU.” According to Snowbowl’s website, the gondola travels from 9,500 feet all the way up to 11,500 feet. It allows visitors and winter sports enthusiasts alike to take in the views from an entirely new perspective. As a lift operator, one of Carter’s responsibilities is to ensure all the lifts are shut down at the end of the night. Before doing this, he and co-workers are allowed go up one last time to enjoy the sights, he added. “About two years ago, there were huge amounts of snow, and me and my co-workers would go on lifts together, which was really fun,” Carter said. “There were beautiful views, and it was all white, the trees were buried in snow and so many birds were flying about — it felt like a winter wonderland.” However, prior to winter storms, trees on the mountain slowly change to fall colors. Snowbowl has access to aspen groves, where

hikers can enjoy autumn on the Humphreys and Kachina trails. “About two-thirds of the way up the mountain, there’s a corner called aspen corner that connects with the Arizona Trail and has connecting trails that run along some really pretty aspen trees,” Carter said. Sophomore Keylin Chavarria regularly visits Snowbowl with her family and friends. “I feel like it offers a lot of hikes and beautiful trails filled with pine trees and aspen trees,” Chavarria said. “There’s a lot of wildlife to see. They also have a gondola that you can ride and see all of Flagstaff [from], which is amazing.” Accounting supervisor Brad Felty always loved skiing and snowboarding, but said he mostly lacked access to it growing up. He explained this encouraged him to get a job at Snowbowl where he could use his accounting degree and passion of skiing. “There is a ton that goes into making sure we can accommodate all the visitors that come on a busy Saturday, and although our ski area is small, we tend to think people are getting their money’s worth and having fun,” Felty said. “We also try to teach everyone to ski. That is one of our main objectives.” Snowbowl’s 80th anniversary was in 2018, which involved a New Year’s Eve Torchlight parade. In celebration, Felty said about 100 people skied while holding flares and zig-zagging down the slope in a single-file line. Even when it started snowing, Felty said he continued participating. Lift operation adviser Sydney Stalling has worked at Snowbowl for five years. When she

Aspen leaves cover a snow-covered forest foot path near Arizona Snowbowl, Oct. 13. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

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moved to Flagstaff, all her friends skied and snowboarded, and she wanted to experience it herself. She said she loves the community they are part of. “I feel like the community is different here at Snowbowl,” Stalling said. “Everyone is super friendly. Everyone that comes in, no matter if you’re a beginner or advanced, you can find your spot on the mountain.” The company is always working to adapt, trying to grow and finding new ways to be creative to fit people’s needs when they come to visit. Stalling said when gondola riders reach the top, they can see the aspens and changing color palettes. People even have picnics high on the mountain, she added. Ian Christopher, a former instructor and lift operator, discussed his time at the resort. He said he enjoyed being a lift operator and going down the slope when it began to snow. “I got to ride a lot, and of course anyone’s reason for working at a ski resort is to see and ride as much as possible,” Christopher said. “But I felt a lot more purpose when I was a ski and snowboard instructor, as you’re teaching kids and adults these skills, so that’s enjoyable. It’s nice to have that aspect and stoke kids out on learning something new.” Autumn flies by faster than one may expect, but the beauty of the mountain is one of a kind. Embrace and enjoy the scenic gondola rides this fall at Snowbowl, or wait until the winter season for plenty of snow-filled opportunities.


FEATURES

ondola Rides this Autumn “There were beautiful views, and it was all white, the trees were buried in snow and so many birds were flying about — ­ it felt like A­ winter wonderland.” – Snowbowl Employee Corey Carter

Left & Right: Leaves are changing on the trees at an aspen meadow near Arizona Snowbowl, Oct. 13. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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FEATURES

Story by OliviA Charlson

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omecoming is a tradition among many, but for who are not the biggest football fans, NAU’s H this opportunity to bond with old companion made fairgrounds on Oct. 15.

Isabella Hager Junior Early childhood education and early childhood special education “It feels really good, it’s like a breath of fresh air to be out and doing things,” Hager said. “[Me and my roommate] did stuff like this when the Coconino County Fair was out. We met freshman year, and we do everything together now. If you’re not in pairs or even numbers, you get to go on rides with people you don’t know and get to know them because there’s usually like two-to-four [people per ride]. It’s just kind of fun to meet new people in line and talk and have a good time.”

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Sam Gerard Sophomore Visual communication “It feels like I’m in one of those college movies — I haven’t really experienced college life yet,” Gerard said. “I went to the bonfire last night, and it felt like I was smack-dab in the middle of ‘Pitch Perfect’ or something. “You get to see everybody at pretty much their most free self, because we’re on these rides that sound like they’re about to break at any moment, and it’s just fun. Everyone is kind of just getting together, getting away from midterms and spending a couple of hours at the fair.”

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Mikiala Luis-Rapozo Freshman Criminology and criminal justice [The carnival] to me is pretty cool, [because] I’m from Hawaii and we don’t see much of this,” Luis-Rapozo said. “I was actually dragged out, but I thought it would be a good experience. I think it’s cool meeting new people and getting to be involved in the community. It’s nice to see everyone coming out in their community and hanging out with their friends.”

Elea Sop Ch

“I was super excited when I found out the carnival wa of it last year,” Feir said. “I remember when I toured NAU during Homecoming Weekend, and I saw the carnival was stuff like that in college,’ so I’m just really glad they did it “I’m still really excited, my friends and I spent a while a little stuffed frog, so that was cool. It’s just really fun to b much. I feel like a part of campus. “Last year I really didn’t leave my dorm that often, e to. So this year with the various events and the Homecom events that COVID put off, and so far it’s been really fun.


FEATURES

n | Photos by Brian Burke

r roller coaster riders, cotton candy enthusiasts and those Homecoming Carnival is the place to go. Students took ns and make new friends as they traversed the ASNAU-

anor Feir phomore hemistry

as happening, mostly because I never got to experience any U a couple of years ago when I was in high school. I did it here. I was like ‘That’s going to be really cool to experience this year. e over at the yard games and we got a bunch of candy. I got be in large groups of people again and not have to worry as

except to go get food, because there was really no reason ming Weekend, it’s the first time I’ve been experiencing the I went to the bonfire last night too, and it was really fun.”

Caitlyn Peed Senior History “I’ve been to the carnival every year, except last year,” Peed said. “[Being able to come back] feels really nice. It’s something I’ve thought of every year, [and] I was really excited it was put on this year — I thought it wasn’t going to be. It was one of the biggest things I missed last year, like my school experience. “No one is trying to pander to me or get my money. It’s one of the most student-geared things that NAU does successfully.”

Dazz Porter Sophomore Software engineering “It doesn’t feel like I live in a ghost town anymore,” Porter said. “It’s not strictly just work and home; I can actually go out and have fun now. Just the general atmosphere, the snacks and the rides, and to hear people screaming is fun. “I came out with my friend. We’re making memories and having these experiences — we just took pictures in the little photo booth over there. I think I’ll look back and say ‘I had fun that day.’”

Sophia Miller-Orvis Senior History “In high school, [homecoming] is never like this,” Miller-Orvis said. “It feels really nice to actually experience college and not have to quarantine. I know sophomores didn’t really get that chance — like they’re also freshmen now — so it’s really nice to actually experience it on my own. “I think crowds aren’t usually my thing, but it’s kind of fun to realize that everyone is here for the same thing: To enjoy the carnival and enjoy the fact that it’s Homecoming Week. All the rides are a lot of fun. My roommate and I have been hanging out with each other the entire night, so I thought that was really nice to be around someone who you can appreciate the fun with.”

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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CULTURE

Adele is back and better than ever

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allad lovers and heartbreak anthem enthusiasts rejoice. Adele has made her highly anticipated return to the music world almost six years after the release of “Hello” and her third album “25.” The singer released her new single, “Easy On Me,” as well as its accompanying Oct. 14 music video. She also announced, via Instagram and Twitter, that her fourth album “30” will be available Nov. 19. Since the release of “25” on Nov. 23, 2015, KATELYN Adele has gone through a lot personally. In 2019, she RODRIGUEZ divorced husband Simon Konecki, with whom she has a 9-year-old son named Angelo. In an interview with CULTURE EDITOR Vogue, she mentioned “30” is more than the divorce album everyone is expecting from her. It’s about her separation, but also coming to terms with herself after realizing she may actually be the problem. “Easy On Me” is very much a divorce ballad. However, it shows us her immense growth as an artist by giving listeners a glimpse into her life. It begins as every Adele ballad must, in some aspect: With piano accompaniment. Her familiar alto vocals cut through seconds later, and they envelop listeners in her warmth. The lyrics delve into her feelings regarding the state of a failing relationship. Throughout the song, she pleads with her partner to go easy on her and to understand where she is coming from, as well saying why she is the way she is. “There ain’t no room for things to change / When we are both so deeply stuck in our ways / You can’t deny how hard I have tried / I changed who I was to put you both first / But now I give up,” Adele sings, on the song’s second verse. Those lyrics stung most because, more often than not, people change themselves in order to please others, whether a significant other, family member or friend group. The coinciding video gave the song even more depth. It started in blackand-white, before switching to color at the halfway point, and showed her driving away from a house after packing all her things. According to eagleeyed fans on social media, the house shown in the video is the same one seen in the video for “Hello.” However, she’s leaving it behind for good this time around. When I first found out Adele was releasing new music, I was ecstatic. She is one of my all-time favorite artists and is the one of the reasons I love music so much. Upon hearing “Easy On Me” for the first time, I knew it was going to be a song I listened to on repeat until the release of “30.” As I took in every lyric, it was of those rare songs I could feel in my bones. Based on this release alone, I already know “30” is going to be an album that hits home for a lot of people, myself included.

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Oct. 11 to 17: Lawsuits, Mötley Crüe and TV show news Katelyn Rodriguez Top five stories of the week:

Recent releases:

“Easy On Me” by Adele (single) 1. According to People, Mark Pontius, drummer for “Ex For A Reason” by Summer Walker featuring City Foster the People, is leaving the band to focus on raising Girls his 2-year-old daughter. “Just One Look” by Julia Michaels (single) 2. Singer Cher is suing her ex-husband and musical “Faking Love” by Anitta featuring Saweetie (single) partner Sonny Bono’s widow over royalties to the duo’s “Faces” by Mac Miller (album) songs, according to Billboard. “Music of the Spheres” by Coldplay (album) 3. Variety reported Smash Mouth lead singer Steve “Optimist” by Finneas (album) Harwell has retired. Harwell’s retirement came after the “Punk” by Young Thug (album) band’s Oct. 9 show in New York, where he slurred his “Blessings and Miracles” by Santana (album) words and threatened the audience. “Halloween Kills” (in theaters) 4. According to Billboard, singer Kesha announced “The Last Duel”(in theaters) she is going to have a series on Discovery+ titled “You” season three (Netflix) “Conjuring Kesha,” in which she will explore the supernatural. 5. Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil broke ribs after falling off stage Saturday night while performing a solo concert in Tennessee, according to ABC News. Top 15 charting songs: 1.“STAY” by The Kid LAROI featuring Justin Bieber 2. “INDUSTRY BABY” by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow 3. “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes 4. “Way 2 Sexy” by Drake featuring Future and Young Thug 5. “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran 6. “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo 7. “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA 8. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa 9. “Knife Talk” by Drake featuring 21 Savage and Project Pat 10. “Essence” by Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber and Tems 11. “Shivers” by Ed Sheeran 12. “My Universe” by Coldplay featuring BTS 13. “Need To Know” by Doja Cat 14. “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd featuring Ariana Grande 15. “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals Song data from Billboard’s The Hot 100 Chart


CULTURE

A group of volunteers cleans up the soot deposited in a yard from floodwaters using shovels, pickaxes and wheelbarrows, Oct. 16. Owen Sexton | The Lumberjack

To make a difference, Flagstaff acts to clear debris from homes Aidan Schonbrun

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n Make A Difference Day 2021, which fell on Oct. 16, volunteers around Flagstaff joined one another to clean debris from the monsoon flooding this year. They worked from early morning to late afternoon. Volunteers came together at 7:30 a.m. in 38-degree weather to work on cleaning up homes where flooding occurred. The neighborhood had sandbags lined up a couple feet in preparation for flooding events. In 2019, the Museum Fire left an impact on the Flagstaff community that was strongly felt during last summer’s monsoons. The areas in which trees and root structures were gone made it so rainwater was carried down the mountain into residential sectors, flooding roads and houses along the way. Efforts from the City of Flagstaff’s Sustainability Program have led to the city working together with United Way of Northern Arizona in attempts to clean up monsoon debris in affected areas. Flagstaff Administrative Assistant Marissa Molloy explained Make A Difference Day has happened for over 15 years, longer than both her supervisor and Molloy have worked in their

positions. In previous years, the day entailed volunteers working to create storm drains in the community watershed, along with cleaning the area. “We run volunteer events all the time,” Molloy said. “Make a Difference Day and Earth Day are some of our larger events, but we host clean-up events year round.” The sustainability office hosts summer events that focus on cleaning up litter swept away by weather and causing more problems for waterways. In the winter, to keep roads clear and safe, they clean up after it snows and remove debris. Each of the events rely on volunteers to make a big difference in the workload. Molloy added to this importance by explaining postflooding volunteer opportunities would lead to a good turnout. “Our volunteers are awesome,” Molloy said. “They love to get outside and get their hands dirty.” Some of the volunteers came from a group called the Southwest Carpenters, which volunteers around Arizona — and the greater Southwest Region — by constructing roads and commercial buildings. According to its website, the council has more than 57,000 members spread through six states.

Special representative Hector Hernandez said as part of the community, these carpenters believe in helping those around them. The group has visited Flagstaff twice this year. “Our responsibility is to help,” Hernandez said. “It doesn’t matter where you live; if you need help, we are there.” Sam Beckett, public works liaison to emergency management for Coconino County, gave a briefing on the event and explained their hope that because monsoon weather is over, their work will not be washed away. When water comes down the burn scar, Beckett said it collects dirt and debris along the way, increasing its volume until flooding stops. “We will hopefully be prepared for next year’s monsoons,” Beckett said. Beckett said he has helped those within parts of Flagstaff affected by the Museum Fire, specifically following the burn scar that led to severe flooding. He put sandbags in front of homes to stop flood waters from reaching the structures, in addition to removing debris. Saturday’s volunteer efforts took many tools, including shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and pickaxes. The participants gathered at the two homes and began their day, although the sediment on the ground was a few inches thick. After several hours of digging and diligence, one

could finally hear the tools hitting concrete. Volunteer Mimi Murov said she noticed the damage caused by flooding and wanted to get out and help. Murov also explained she has seen the effects of the water, which sometimes floods higher than the sandbag walls. Murov and her friend got to the event ready to do a full day’s work in helping the residents of Flagstaff who were hit and left with inches of debris in their homes. “I hope it’s a productive day, and [that] whoever’s house we work at is happy with how it goes,” Murov said. Though the Museum Fire happened two summers ago, in 2019, Molloy explained that the office of sustainability will continue to work closely to address future complications through resilience efforts. Volunteers worked on backyards and front gardens, using wheelbarrows to continuously dump debris onto the road for eventual removal via city equipment. Residents who had their homes worked on expressed their gratitude. Make A Difference Day showcased the significance of volunteers proving their commitment to the community following the Museum Fire and flooding.

SEPT. 23 2021 – SEPT. 29, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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CULTURE

Homecoming 2021: Chili cook-off and

Students gather around the flames during the annual Homecoming Bonfire at Central Quad, Oct. 14. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

Emily Rehling

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chool spirit radiated from NAU on Oct. 14 at the annual Homecoming Traditions Day pep rally, chili cook-off and bonfire. Lumberjacks gathered in the Central Quad, where participating chefs waited to prove their chili was the best of the best while a massive bonfire was prepared for ignition. Students, staff and alumni alike were all beaming with Lumberjack pride as the tradition — one that has existed since the first Homecoming in 1924 — commenced. Preceded by a rousing pep rally in preparation for the football game against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, the bonfire was lit at 6:30 p.m. The crowd surrounding the firepit went wild as flames went up in the air, and the excitement continued with NAU Twirling Line’s dazzling performance. The twirlers performed with flaming batons, throwing them in the air and catching them again as Lumberjacks watched in awe. The game against Southern Utah was the hot topic of the evening. After NAU’s win over the Thunderbirds on Oct. 16, the Lumberjacks now hold braggings rights to the Grand Canyon Rivalry. Due to Southern Utah’s upcoming exit from the Big Sky Conference, however, NAU maintains the rivalry’s upper hand for the next seven years.

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Early in the pep rally, the Lumberjack Marching Band and NAU cheer were bursting with enthusiasm as they kept the energy high. NAU football head coach Chris Ball led the crowd in a lively cheer prior to the fire being lit, with shouts of “Go Jacks” being sent back and forth by Lumberjacks in attendance. Later, lines filled to pose for photos with Louie the Lumberjack. Senior Carson Linxwiler said the bonfire was something he had always wanted to experience before graduation. Having missed out in the past, this was his first year participating. “I always see it on Instagram, and I’m like ‘I need to go do the thing,’” Linxwiler said. “I have fun memories of my mom texting me about the bonfire and asking if there’s a fire on campus.”

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“I have fun memories of my mom texting me about the bonfire and asking if there’s a fire on campus.” – Senior Carson Linxwiler

Linxwiler also said the music, provided by a DJ, was a highlight of the event. “Fireball” by Pitbull, of whom Linxwiler said he was “a huge fan,” played as the bonfire was lit. Other fire-related tunes played throughout the quad as the lighting commenced, a choice Linxwiler said he appreciated. Other activities were available for Lumberjacks of all generations to enjoy. Lines extended far into the quad for popcorn and hot chocolate, a photobooth and the Where’s the Food Truck, which opened its window for the first time since shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic. If attendees were not already busy warming up by the fire, enjoying the food or deciding which of the chili samples was their favorite, they were busy playing yard games in the grass. All these activities were planned by sophomore Rachel LordJones, coordinator for social and traditional events for the NAU Residence Hall Association (RHA), who organized the bonfire. “I’ve never actually seen [the Homecoming Bonfire] before,” Lord-Jones said. “It’s been an interesting experience actually planning it, having never seen it.” Lord-Jones said the bonfire was a great way to kick off Homecoming Weekend for students and alumni alike, as all were welcome to enjoy the festivities. Lumberjacks were free to paint the town in blue and gold over the weekend, regardless of whether


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bonfire warmed students and staff

A student raises their hands up in the shape of “LJ” for a photo, Oct. 14. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

their time at NAU was in the past or had just begun. Such was the case for freshmen Kaia Heitkamp and Sydney Roquemore, for whom this Homecoming was the first of many. Heitkamp and Roquemore said they decided to join the fun after seeing the bonfire from their residence hall window. “It’s obviously a fun event we can’t miss [in the future] for Homecoming,” Heitkamp said. Heitkamp and Roquemore said they missed the chili cookoff, but were able to enjoy the complimentary hot chocolate while they watched the bonfire. Roquemore added that the enormous fire exceeded her expectations. The Flagstaff Fire Department had firefighters in attendance to make sure everything went off without a hitch and to keep the fire burning throughout the night. Attendees seemed to appreciate their presence, with many stopping for photos with firefighters, as well as the fire engine they arrived in. The evening was filled with energy and warmth, and not just from the bonfire itself. Central Quad was packed with students, alumni and even some familiar faces, like NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera, who also spoke prior to the bonfire’s ignition. All were welcome at the Homecoming Traditions Day Bonfire to watch NAU glow over Homecoming Weekend.

NAU football head coach Chris Ball encourages students to come to the Homecoming Football Game, Oct. 14. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

Senior Erica Barndt twirls burning batons and dazzles the crowd, Oct. 14. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

SEPT. 23 2021 – SEPT. 29, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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Homecoming thrills at the 2021 carnival

Page 20: Students line up to ride the Ferris wheel at the NAU Homecoming carnival, Oct. 15. Page 21 top left: Two students are seen on a ride during the Homecoming carnival, Oct. 15. Page 21 top right: Students pose while riding the Cliffhanger ride, Oct. 15. Page 21 bottom: A ride in motion at the NAU Homecoming carnival, Oct. 15. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

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SEPT. 23 2021 – SEPT. 29, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK

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SPORTS

Avalanche headed for the Stanley Cup

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he Colorado Avalanche has created a name for itself in the NHL since beginning their time in Colorado in 1995. The franchise started in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques in the World Hockey Association. They joined the NHL in 1979, retaining their original name until 1995. Since joining the league, the team has won two Stanley Cups: One in 1996 and another in 2001. KRISTEN The team has seen struggles CHANCELLOR throughout its time in the NHL, whether WRITER from injuries or playoff eliminations, but has a strong roster and the potential to take home the Stanley Cup this season. Colorado has made the playoffs 17 of the franchise’s 25 seasons in Denver, including the last four years. This team started fresh in rebuilding and found itself to be a favorite in the league. With one of the top NHL offensive lines, featuring captain Gabriel Landeskog, centerman Nathan MacKinnon and right wing Mikko Rantanen, the team dominates on the ice. On defense, players such as Cale Makar and Eric Johnson are also set to continue their strides this season. The Avalanche have grown as a dynamic two-way group able to perform on the offensive and defensive ends, particularly with players showing strengths in both positions. With the agility and endurance of players on that top line, along with others on the roster, opponents find it hard to stop the Avalanche. Colorado also limits scoring opportunities for opposing players with a strong goaltending front. With new goaltender Darcy Kuemper added to the mix, who stood out as a top contender on the Arizona Coyotes over the past few seasons, the Avalanche is bound to see its defense improve. Colorado will look to take the Central Division and make their way into the playoffs this season. Being favored to win this past season — but getting eliminated — put a negative taste in players’ mouths, and they now feel the need to prove themselves. Though they struggled to take control of the ice and maximize on opponents during the preseason, that isn’t stopping their drive to win this year. The Avalanche started the season Oct. 13 against the Chicago Blackhawks and took the win at home, 4-2. Colorado went without head coach Jared Bednar, in addition to MacKinnon, after the two tested positive for COVID-19. The Avalanche are looking good this season and are likely headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If Colorado continues to win games and take control of the puck, there is no stopping them this season.

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BLUE AND GOLD IN ACTION Recent game scores Volleyball NAU vs Idaho State Thursday, Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m. Final: (W) NAU 3 - Idaho State 0 NAU vs Weber State Saturday, Oct. 16, 6 p.m. Final: (L) NAU 0 - Weber State 3

Soccer NAU vs Southern Utah Sunday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m. Final: (W) NAU 2 - Southern Utah 0 NAU vs Idaho State Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m. Final: (w) NAU 2 - Idaho State 0

Football NAU vs Southern Utah Sunday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m. Final: (W) NAU 59 - SUU 35

Upcoming games Volleyball

NAU vs Montana State Thursday, Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m. (Rolle Activity Center) NAU vs Montana Saturday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. (Rolle Activity Center)

Soccer NAU @ Sacramento State Friday, Oct. 22, 3:30 p.m. (Sacramento, California) NAU @ Portland State Sunday, Oct. 24, TBA (Hillsboro Stadium)

Football NAU @ Sacramento State Saturday, Oct. 23, 6 p.m. (Sacramento, California)


SPORTS

New threads and turf for Lumberjack football Lauren Suthers

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or NAU football, looking good and feeling good is in the cards after taking a turn toward greatness this year. At the start of the season, new uniforms were unveiled, which helped the Lumberjacks look ready to take opponents on with brand-new turf applied in the Walkup Skydome. “It’s been a blessing to have a complete rebranding to NAU football’s look,” graduate student linebacker Tristen Vance said. “We look like a brand new team.” To make the style unique, three distinct designs were incorporated on the uniforms: “The Mountain Hero” logo on the shoulders, “The NAU Heartbeat” on the side of the pant legs and “The Chop” striped neckline. Each of these aspects have special meanings to the team. On both shoulders of the jersey, “The Mountain Hero” is represented by a mountain symbol. This showcases the identity of NAU Athletics and the home it has made in Flagstaff, which unites everyone in the San Francisco Peaks. “I think it embodies NAU and Flagstaff as a whole,” graduate tight end Matthew Kempton said. “You have a team and you try to create this culture — you can do that in so many ways. You stress the importance of culture in a program in something as little as putting a design in a logo. It represents Flagstaff as a city, and that’s something else to also rally behind. It stresses who we are, where we are from and who we are trying to play for.” Another design incorporated on the uniforms is “The NAU Heartbeat.” This design can be spotted running down the sides of the pant legs, reminding the players of why they play and what they play for. UniSwag, one of the minds behind the new uniforms, described this component as reflecting the energetic pulse and uplifting spirit of northern Arizona. Meanwhile, Vance depicted what “The NAU Heartbeat” means to him. “Initially, I thought it was for our school’s location … A mountain range to represent the area and landscape that we live in at NAU.” Vance said. “The heartbeat has a lot more oomph, and something special, to it. When you put on the uniform, you see the heartbeat and feel obligated to put your heart into the game. … The thought doesn’t go unappreciated.” Surrounding the neckline of the jersey is a striped pattern, comprised of blue and gold, called “The Chop.” This design was also placed along the sidelines of the new field, and the two colors make a statement in catching fans’ eyes. People watching at home will not be guessing whose home game it is. “The Chop” is an acronym for character, hard work, ownership and being present. This motto is what the athletes live by, not only on the field but in their lives away from the game. “This pattern is my favorite part on the jerseys,” sophomore wide receiver Hendrix Johnson said. “The Chop is something coach [Chris] Ball has preached since he first started recruiting — it’s a big focus for our team. For me, [The Chop] means everything. So to have that symbolized on JOHNSON the jersey is really cool.”

NAU football players wearing new black-and-white uniforms. Photo courtesy of UniSwag

With both a black and a white helmet, blue and white jerseys and blue and white pants, the Lumberjacks are able to mix and match uniforms every game. In NAU’s first four games, the team hit the field sporting a new combo each time. Kempton said they have a fun time discussing and deciding what to wear before big games and their favorite combination was the white helmet and pants paired with a blue jersey. “The white-blue-white that we wore to Arizona and [against] Idaho State is the best [combo] that we’ve worn,” Vance said. “It’s everyone’s favorite. The one we are wearing [against Southern Utah] is the white helmet with the blue uniform. … [Changing up the combination] is something completely different than what NAU has ever done before, and these uniforms have the flexibility to do it.” Though getting new uniforms can be seen as a simple change, it has made a big impact on the field by inspiring the team to feel good and play well. In addition to the jerseys, the new field has been enjoyed by the players and fans. The blue, white and gold colors make a statement from the stands, but what the fans cannot see are the major improvements athletes feel. “The change has made a big difference,” Johnson said. “You feel faster, you feel bouncier and it’s an overall better experience. I feel like you could tell the first few practices on it. It is the exact same turf that we have outside. We’ve always felt the field outside was better than the one we play on in the dome.”

Vance said NAU’s turf is better than many of the others he has played on. He described UArizona’s turf as “underwhelming,” and mentioned that Eastern Washington’s famous red turf lacks the cushion found in the Skydome. NAU kicked off the season with a 3-3 record — including a historic win against UArizona — and between the jerseys and turf, these changes are something no one will forget. Heart and soul are put into the game, and the players are excited that extra love was put into their field as well. “[The previous field] did not have much bounce back and was a tough surface to play on,” Vance said. “This one is newer, fresher, has a lot more cushion and more bounce to it. It looks great to the fans and to us, and we feel great playing on it.” The team is grateful for new additions making big differences, which Kempton said are demonstrative of NAU’s commitment to the football program. Athletes are looking forward to the rest of the season, and they remember to appreciate these opportunities rather than take them for granted. “We had some losses early, and we had some big wins,” Johnson said. “I think you can see after the game against Idaho State that everything started coming together. Hopefully, continuing forward, we continue to get better and have great team wins.” In a new era for NAU football, athletes are showing their Lumberjack spirit by speeding toward the end zone in their new uniforms.

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK

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SPORTS

NAU football looks to dominate Big Sky Confere Kody Malouf

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AU football is at the halfway point of the fall 2021 season. Since dropping the first two games of the year, the Lumberjacks won three of their last four competitions. Their 3-3 record overall, and 2-1 conference record, have them sitting at fifth place in the Big Sky standings with five games left. Coming off a 59-35 Grand Canyon Rivalry win vs Southern Utah, the Lumberjacks have their sights set on another familiar opponent: the Sacramento State Hornets. NAU last faced off against Sacramento State during the 2019 season, falling 38-34 in the final game of that year and finishing with a 4-8 record — ninth place in the Big Sky. Sacramento State comes into the game 4-2 overall with a 3-0 conference record, good for third among Big Sky teams. Entering a vital stretch in their season — during which the Lumberjacks face conference opponents for the five remaining games — head coach Chris Ball said he wishes some things could be changed, but knows there is plenty to look forward to.

“IT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT WHO WE’RE PLAYING; IT’S ABOUT MAKING OURSELVES BETTER EVERY DAY.” – HEAD COACH CHRIS BALL BALL “I feel OK [about the first half ],” Ball said. “There are some things that we’d like to have back, [and] there’s a game we’d definitely like to have back, but we’re getting better. I like our leadership, I like our culture and I love this team. I think this team is growing; they come out here every day and get better. I love the direction we’re headed, [and] now we’ve just got six weeks to finish it.” With offense leading the way, NAU’s last two games were blowout wins. The Lumberjacks took care of conference opponent Idaho State 48-17 on Oct. 2, before hanging 59 points on a Southern Utah defense that seemed incapable of stopping NAU. Despite these victories in front of the home crowd, Ball explained his team is focused on the task at hand instead of reminiscing on the past. “It’s the work you’re doing through the week that’s going to help you win on Saturday,” Ball said. “We just had our bye, so we got some rest, and now it’s game week. Every day we come out here and worry about ourselves. It’s not really about who we’re playing; it’s about making ourselves better every day.” Thus far, a 21-19 upset of in-state rival UArizona was the season highlight. This historic win was the Lumberjacks’ first against the Wildcats since 1932, as well as their first victory of the season. The win over UArizona was big for the Lumberjacks, but since then, Ball has not given it much thought — and treated it the same as any other win. “It was a great win for us, [and] a great win for our university,

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Redshirt freshman wide receiver Coleman Owen ran down the field to score a touchdown against Idaho State at Walkup Skydome, Oct. 2. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

but it’s not going to make or break our season,” Ball said. “It’s nice, [and] it’s great to talk about, but if we go 1-10, just because we beat Arizona isn’t going to make us feel any better. It was a great win for us, but we didn’t have much time to celebrate because we had to line up and play again the next week.” The Lumberjacks’ win over UArizona also marked the debut of freshman MARTINEZ quarterback RJ Martinez, who eventually won the starting job over redshirt freshman Jeff Widener. Martinez has been solid since taking over, throwing for 1,082 yards, nine touchdowns and only one interception. The young passer is set to make his fourth career start against Sacramento State this Saturday. Martinez has learned a lot as NAU’s signal-caller, but is taking it all in stride. “It’s been a great learning experience coming in as a young guy,” Martinez said. “Having played a lot in high school has really

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helped me prepare for this level of football. It’s still been a learning experience from being a leader on the offense and as a team leader. It’s a lot different since it’s college football now, so the preparation obviously is amped up. Everything has been a great learning experience, I’ve got great teammates and coaches and trainers who help me along the way.” The Lumberjacks utilized four quarterbacks over their first six games, including three different starters. Ball confirmed Martinez has the starting position for now, but added that nobody’s job is safe: “We compete every week at every position.” Redshirt freshman receiver Coleman Owen has kept his production up, despite NAU’s revolving door of quarterbacks, accumulating 25 receptions for 434 yards and four touchdowns, the longest being an 80-yard connection with Martinez against Southern Utah. Owen leads the Lumberjacks in receptions and receiving yards through six games, and is also tied for the lead in touchdowns caught. OWEN


SPORTS

ence as schedule’s second half gets underway Junior wide receiver Hendrix Johnson (10) catches a pass against SUU, Oct. 16. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

“[EXPECT] NOTHING BUT BETTER THAN YOU’VE ALREADY SEEN. THIS LAST GAME [AGAINST IDAHO STATE], WE FINALLY PICKED IT UP AS AN OFFENSE, AND WE FINALLY GOT TO SEE WHAT WE CAN DO. NOW WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE CAPABLE OF, AND WE’RE JUST GOING TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD FROM THERE.” – REDSHIRT FRESHMAN RECIEVER COLEMAN OWEN His catch against Southern Utah was NAU’s longest receiving touchdown of the season. Since the freshman quarterback took over the Lumberjacks offense, Owen and Martinez have built a strong connection, and the former referenced his enjoyment with the young gun under center. “It’s been awesome,” Owen said. “He’s a really talented kid, and even though he’s young, he’s one of the biggest leaders on the

team. It’s awesome being a receiver and being able to trust the quarterback. He really puts it on us wherever we are on the field, [and] it’s awesome to see the plays he makes.” The two have established a formidable rapport in recent weeks, combining for 300 yards and four touchdowns over their last two games. Owen surpassed 130 yards receiving and caught two touchdowns for the second straight week, and his previous high was 69 yards in the season opener against Sam Houston State. He did not find the end zone, however, until two weeks ago against Idaho State. Down the stretch, Owen said he wants fans to look forward to more of NAU’s offensive production. “[Expect] nothing but better than you’ve already seen,” Owen said. “This last game [against Idaho State], we finally picked it up as an offense, and we finally got to see what we can do. Now we know what we’re capable of, and we’re just going to keep moving forward from there.” The Lumberjacks have also improved on the defensive side of the ball over their first five games. After allowing 42 and 34 points in their first two matches the NAU defense stepped up and surrendered VEST

less than 20 points in three of its last four games. However, the exception was Southern Utah’s 35 points on Oct. 16. Redshirt junior defensive back Morgan Vest said he is proud of the way his team’s defense has performed in recent weeks, and hopes they can find another gear heading into the second half of the schedule. Vest thinks the defense’s improvement speaks for itself, but added that now is no time to take it easy. “Energy and effort, we’re going to play hard every snap of every game,” Vest said. “That’s really become our M.O., and that’s what we hang our hat on. We’re going to play harder than everyone, and we’re going to play for each other. You can clearly see [the improvement] in the way we’re playing and the wins that we’re starting to put up. The thing is, you can’t get complacent. You’ve got to keep getting better every day.” Of the Lumberjacks’ remaining games, two opponents currently lead them in the Big Sky standings. If NAU can take care of business, it could find itself with a playoff berth. With a crucial stretch of their season looming and a potential playoff spot hanging in the balance, Ball emphasized the importance of the Lumberjacks’ remaining schedule. “It’s really important,” Ball said. “We’re trying to win the Big Sky, we’re going to take it one day at a time [and] we’ve got a sixgame schedule to get in the mix.”

OCT. 21 - OCT. 27, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK

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A usually bustling campus lays empty after a weekend full of Homecoming activities as a lone Starship robot delivers food, Oct. 17. Madison Easton | The Lumberjack

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