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NOV. 6, 2020 – NOV. 11, 2020

Online at JackCentral.org

From the Editor The early years of adulthood are usually strange. Filled with growth, changes and blind plunges into the unknown, the late teens and early twenties of life are a test of human resilience. For current college students, these years are even weirder. While we wrestle with the typical courseloads, shifts at work and late nights in the library, we face other stress-inducing factors. If I thought I was stressed in previous years then I don't even know how to quantify this new level of anxiety and tension. Now, we are living through a pandemic that is still raging uncontrollably on top of school and everyday worries. But that is not all. It’s also a presidential election year. As if we didn’t already have enough on our minds, we now have to stay alive, keep our friends and family alive and are worried about picking a president. Our brains have been running at full tilt 24/7 for months now. Adjusting to quarantine, the election and online school has been a lot. It’s unsustainable to run full-speed if we wish to have a relatively healthy mental state. So, it’s time to take a break. I have been guilty of rarely taking mental breathers. In my childhood, I trained extensively for karate, spending five days of the week in the dojo after school and competing on the weekends on a path that eventually landed me in the Jr. Olympics. In high school, early mornings were spent at the gym before school, after school and during school for basketball. And in college, rugby filled the time that those other sports took in my youth. My break was when my eyes closed and I fell asleep. Days off were RYAN DIXON a figure of fiction to me. OP-ED EDITOR It wasn’t until just last year, my junior year of college, that I even registered the importance of resting my mind and my body beyond absolute physical necessity. It took wise words from a friend and mentor to shake me from my mentally taxing routine. My desk editor at the time with The Lumberjack, Katie Burke, stopped me mid-rant on our way to get food. “Ryan,” she said, “Slow down. Not everything needs to have 100% of you, all the time.” I doubt Katie even remembers that short piece of advice she gave me on that day, but it shook my worldview and frankly, it changed my life. Her advice is something I think we all need to hear during these frantic times. There are numerous worthwhile topics and events to devote our time to. Civil and human rights, the democratic process, global health and school are all worthy receptors of our attention. However, in the midst of throwing ourselves into all these efforts, we need to remember ourselves as well. Give some time to yourself. The world will not fall apart if you watch that episode of “Scandal” or sit on North Quad with a friend. While the world races by outside, pay attention, but also remember to pay attention to what’s going on inside your mind. Everyone deserves the reminder Katie gave me. Stop. Breathe. And set aside some time to simply exist.

Continuous local and campus covid-19 coverage available at jackcentral.org

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Thank you for reading.


VOL. 110 ISSUE 13

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

Editor-in-Chief Brady Wheeler

Managing Editor Scout Ehrler

Copy Chief Nathan Manni

Faculty Adviser David Harpster

Print Chief Jacob Meyer

Director of Digital Content Sabrina Profitt

Media Innovation Center Editorial Board


Director of Social Media Maddie Cohen

Op-Ed Editor Ryan Dixon

Asst. Culture Editor Katelyn Rodriguez

Director of Illustration Aleah Green

News Editor Trevor Skeen

Asst. Op-Ed Editor Kyler Edsitty

Sports Editor David Church

Asst. Dir. of Illustration Blake Fernandez

Asst. News Editor Camille Sipple

Features Editor Ash Lohmann

Asst. Sports Editor Cameron Richardson

Director of Photography Michael Patacsil

Online News Editor Alliya Dulaney

Asst. Features Editor Olivia Charlson

Sports Adviser Rory Faust

Asst. Dir. of Photography Mackenzie Brower

Senior Reporter Mark Fabery

Culture Editor Nayomi Garcia

Senior Photographer Brian Burke

Director of Multimedia Shawn Patti


On the cover Illustration By Aleah Green

Corrections & Clarifications The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email Brady Wheeler at bew85@nau.edu.

PoliceBeat Oct. 26 At 8:09 a.m., staff at the Biological Sciences building reported seeing a sticker on a bus stop. NAUPD responded and an officer removed it.

Oct. 27 At 2:50 a.m., staff at Wilson Hall reported a student with a diabetic condition. NAUPD, Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD) and Guardian Medical Transport (GMT) responded, but the student refused medical transport. At 1:09 p.m., staff at Knoles Parking Garage reported a subject shouting from the top floor of the structure. NAUPD responded, but the subject was gone upon arrival. At 2:27 p.m., a wallet was turned in to NAUPD lost and found. Drugs were located inside the wallet, but after contacting the owner, the drug offense was determined to be unfounded. The owner also reported their credit cards were stolen. At 4:37 p.m., a student at Wilson Hall reported that another student took too much medication. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the student was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC). At 11:43 p.m., staff at Allen Hall reported a student attempted suicide. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the student was transported to FMC. Oct. 28 At 3:57 p.m., staff at McConnell Hall reported the odor of marijuana. NAUPD responded and one student was referred for possession of marijuana.

Oct. 29 At 12:14 a.m., staff at Mountain View Hall reported the odor of marijuana. NAUPD responded and one student was deferred for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. At 1:57 p.m., staff at the Health and Learning Center reported a student had a seizure. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and the student was transported to FMC. Oct. 30 At 12:46 a.m., a passerby requested a welfare check on a subject near the intersection of South San Francisco Street and West University Avenue. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, and one nonstudent was contacted. The subject was transported to FMC for alcohol intoxication. At 11:09 p.m., an officer initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of South Lone Tree Road and South O’Leary Street. One student was deferred for minor in possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia. Another two students were deferred for minor in possession of alcohol, and a warning was also issued for driving without headlights.

Compiled by Camille Sipple Nov. 1 At 12:28 a.m., a student at Raymond Hall reported an unknown person throwing eggs at their window. An NAUPD officer responded and took a report. At 2:34 a.m., a student called to request assistance with an intoxicated student at Tinsley Hall. NAUPD, FPD and GMT responded, but the student refused transport. One student was cited and released for minor in possession of alcohol. At 3:03 a.m., a student called to request assistance for a student who fell and hit their head at Tinsley Hall. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded and the student was transported to FMC by ambulance. At 4:18 a.m., a student called to report a nonstudent loitering near Pine Ridge Village. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, found the subject hit their head and transported them to FMC.

At 9:33 p.m., a student called to report a person under the influence of drugs in University Union. NAUPD responded and found the nonstudent had a warrant out of Colorado. They were arrested and booked for the Oct. 31 warrant, as well as charged with At 3:08 a.m., an officer aggravated assault for spitting reported checking on two on a health care worker. students at Cline Library. One student was deferred for minor At 11:52 p.m., a in consumption of alcohol. nonstudent, arrested by officers for a warrant out of Colorado, At 9:08 p.m., an was brought to FMC for officer reported conducting intoxication. The subject spit a traffic stop at Pine Knoll on a health care worker. and McConnell drives. One student was issued a written warning for speed, a stop sign violation and no turn signal. Two students were criminally deferred for minor in possession of alcohol.

Coconino County COVID-19 Dashboard data

Community transmission Case rate

Moderate 200.7 per 100,000 pop.

Positivity percentage


Cumulative cases


Flagstaff Medical Center COVID-19 Resources

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

Positive: 17 | Pending: 13

195/300 39/55

NAU Student Cases

Total on- and off-campus cases


“#Sharpiegate” debunked in Arizona Camille Sipple


n election night, rumors began to spread regarding the use of Sharpies on official voting ballots. Social media users were falsely claiming that Arizona ballots were being invalidated if they were filled out in Sharpie pen, according to the Associated Press (AP). The conspiracy became known as “#Sharpiegate” across social media platforms and placed claims that Maricopa County election officials had provided voters with Sharpie pens, interfering with ballot results. However, according to AP, Arizona election officials stated, “Voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by tabulation machines.” Multiple county and state officials around Arizona emphasized that “there is no merit to the Sharpie concerns,” but they still encouraged voters to use felt tip pens for ballots and referenced that the ink dries faster and is more legible. Confusion, conspiracy and misinformation continued to mount, however, following officials’ promotion of felt tip pens. “Poll workers are not going to give voters pens that are going to invalidate their ballot,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told KTAR News. Hobbs also publicly tweeted a response to the “#Sharpiegate” allegations on Nov. 4. The tweet stated that all in person ballots will be counted regardless of the type of pen used by voters, even those filled out in Sharpie. Furthermore, Arizona has an adjudication process for counting and recording ballots that cannot be read through regularly used tabulators.




2020 General Election Results Republican Wendy Rogers wins LD6 Senate race Mark Fabery


Republican Wendy Rogers during her run for Arizona’s first congressional district, Nov. 6, 2018. Rogers secured an open LD6 Senate seat Nov. 3. Shannon Swain | The Lumberjack

epublican Wendy Rogers won the open Legislative District 6 (LD6) Senate seat Wednesday morning, beating Democrat Felicia French in the battle to replace Arizona GOP Sen. Sylvia Allen, according to KAFF News. Rogers thanked her supporters on Twitter Wednesday morning after gaining an insurmountable lead of over 8,034 votes as Rogers received 58,164 to French’s 50,130 votes. “I want to thank you all so much! We did it,” Rogers tweeted. “Despite all of the millions of dollars in Soros and Bloomberg money that came in to try and buy this state senate seat, we still crushed them.” Both French and Rogers were unsuccessful in seeking public office in the past, but this year offered Rogers the opportunity to represent the residents of rural northern Arizona. French, a retired United States Army Colonel and registered nurse from Pine, Arizona, tried her hand at

politics in 2018 when she first sought a seat in the state House of Representatives, losing to Bob Thorpe by roughly 600 votes, according to Ballotpedia. In contrast, Rogers is a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel who owns homes in both Flagstaff and Tempe, and she has been seeking public office for the past decade. Most recently, Rogers challenged Rep. Tom O’Halleran for his seat in the House, but lost with 46% of the vote in 2018. Rogers beat incumbent Sen. Allen during the Republican primary with 58% of the vote, while French was unchallenged in her primary. Before election night, Arizona Republicans had a three-seat majority in the state Senate and a two-seat majority in the state House. However, as of Wednesday morning there is currently a 30-to-30 split in the Arizona House of Representatives and a 16-to-14 seat lead for state Republicans in the state Senate with over 100,000 votes outstanding in Maricopa County, according to election results reported by 12News.

Blackman, Barton win seats to represent LD6 in state House Mark Fabery


Coral Evans, Arizona state House candidate and current Flagstaff mayor, being virtually interviewed at the Little America Hotel by The Lumberjack reporters, Nov. 3. Ben Akers | The Lumberjack



ncumbent Rep. Walt Blackman and Republican Brenda Barton both secured enough votes to represent Legislative District Six in the Arizona state House of Representatives, beating both Independent Art Babbott and Democrat Coral Evans, as reported by the Arizona Secretary of State website. Blackman and Barton each received 28.39% and 26.04% of the vote, respectively, to become the next representatives of LD6 whereas Evans received 25.89% of the vote and Babbottt received only 19.68% of the vote. Blackman, who was the first Black Republican elected to the Arizona legislature, will retain his seat in LD6 after battling to keep it in Republican hands. Meanwhile, Barton returns to the seat she vacated in 2018 due to term limits. Both Blackman and Barton were outraised and outspent by their opponents throughout the race, but they each managed an upset against Evans and Babbott. Evans led the pack Tuesday, but that lead slipped as the

night went on and Blackman took the lead by a significant margin. On Tuesday night, in an exclusive interview with The Lumberjack before the results were final, Evans thanked her constituents and her team for their support throughout the race. “I want to thank all of my supporters because I have had a team of over 17,000 volunteers and they have made over 185,000 phone calls into this district asking for people to vote for me,” Evans said. “I think that’s phenomenal, and I am just so thankful for their support throughout this race, no matter the outcome.” The seat was considered by Arizona Democrats as a must-win in order to swing the majority in the state House. A win by both candidates would have been historic as the district has only ever elected Republicans to the state House. However, LD6 will continue to be controlled by Arizona Republicans for the next two years.


Left: Flagstaff mayoral candidate Paul Deasy poses for a portrait on his front porch, Nov. 3. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack Right: Flagstaff mayoral candidate Charlie Odegaard speaks on the phone at Odegaard’s Sewing Center shortly after conceding the race to Paul Deasy, Nov. 3. Michael Patacsil | The Lumberjack

Paul Deasy wins Flagstaff mayoral race Camille Sipple


aul Deasy won the race for Flagstaff mayor against former councilmember Charlie Odegaard with 54.8% of the vote, according to Coconino County Elections Office as of Friday morning. Odegaard conceded to Deasy via Twitter Tuesday evening, offering congratulations to him as Flagstaff’s next mayor. Odegaard said he is very humbled and grateful for the support he has received from the community during the yearlong race as well as during his role on Flagstaff City Council. “I know I can look back and say that the people that are coming behind me will be able to serve in a better capacity in delivering the community services ... just because we are on a solid financial

foundation,” Odegaard said. Deasy thanked Odegaard for his service to the Flagstaff community and said Odegaard is a good man who cares about his community. In regard to being elected the next mayor of Flagstaff, Deasy said he aims to serve the entire community and will work to further transparency within city hall. “It is time for a new direction for Flagstaff. It is time for change, and together we can make the vision a reality,” Deasy said. Official results regarding the Flagstaff mayoral election have not been released, and ballots are still being counted.

Proposition 207 approved by Arizona voters Sebastian Moore


rizona voters approved Proposition 207, the initiative for adults 21 or older to use, possess and cultivate marijuana recreationally. The Associated Press (AP) called the race at 8:52 p.m. Tuesday night. Along with the aforementioned regulations, a Coconino County ballot description stated the proposition bans smoking marijuana in public, imposes a 16% excise tax on all sales, which will fund public programs and allows the state to regulate marijuana licenses. Additionally, Prop. 207 will allow the state to expunge past marijuana criminal offenses. According to The New York Times, the proposition passed with considerable favor, as 1,403,826 (59.9%) people voted yes versus the 938,202 (40.1%) votes opposed. Prop. 205, which was introduced in 2016 and called for the legal possession and consumption of marijuana by those 21 and older, was narrowly defeated by a 67,021 vote margin — 1,300,344 (51.32%) voted against while 1,233,323 (48.68%) voted in favor. This time around, the initiative managed to pass.

The Smart and Safe Arizona Act will impose a 16% tax in addition to the state’s current sales tax, and the revenue will then be allocated toward local and state governments. AP reporters Bob Christie and Felicia Fonseca reported the 16% tax alone could generate over $160 million per year, while the additional sales tax could generate a combined $250-plus million in revenue. The AP article explained tax from the initiative would help fund public programs, such as transportation projects, criminal justice programs and local police, fire and health departments. As reported by AP, retail sales could begin as early as May. Those who are 21 or older will be able to possess one ounce of marijuana or a smaller quantity of concentrates. In addition, the proposition lets people grow their own marijuana plants. According to The Arizona Republic, The Mint Dispensary is prepared to facilitate the construction of a $25 million, 100,000-square-foot growing operation in north Phoenix after the passing of Prop. 207. This project would reportedly allow the cannabis dispensary to keep its Guadalupe and Mesa locations stocked.




US House of Representatives results 1st: O’Halleran leads 2nd: Kirkpatrick won 3rd: Grijalva won 4th: Gosar won 5th: Biggs won 6th: Schweikert leads 7th: Gallego won 8th: Lesko won 9th: Stanton won


4th 6th

8th 7th

3rd 2nd

infographic by jacob meyer






Strong performances from democratic candidates Mark Kelly, Joe Biden

Photos courtesy of the Associated Press

Trevor Skeen Kelly wins big in Arizona


emocrat Mark Kelly officially won his senatorial race as of 12:51 a.m. Wednesday, according to The Associated Press (AP). Kelly is a first-time candidate, former NASA astronaut and retired United States Navy combat pilot. He is slated to finish the late Sen. John McCain’s (R) final term. This period will last until 2022 when Kelly faces reelection, but he solidified Arizona’s Democratic position after beating current Sen. Martha McSally (R). Kelly is married to former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in 2011 during a constituent meeting in Tucson. Earlier during election night, AP published Kelly’s comments to a small group of reporters in southern Arizona. “The work starts now,” Kelly said. “And we desperately need Washington to work for Arizona. My top priority is making sure we have a plan to slow the spread of this virus, and then getting Arizona the resources our state needs right now.” Following Sinema’s 2018 victory, Kelly is the second Democratic senator from Arizona to win in over 30 years. According to The Arizona Republic, he won on a message of “partisan independence, science-based decision-making

[and] affordable health care and insurance coverage.” Considering Kelly’s win in the special election — following Sen. McCain’s death in 2018 — he is expected to be confirmed to the U.S. Senate as soon as election results are certified. While polls projected a Kelly victory over current Sen. McSally, the state’s 2018 senatorial race was extremely close and took an additional six full days to call. Networks disagree victorious




Presidential candidate Joe Biden (D) won Arizona’s 11 electoral votes at 12:50 a.m. Wednesday, according to an article published by AP calling the race. However, The Hill documented that the Trump campaign is considering legal challenges in Arizona and Pennsylvania, where hundreds of thousands of votes are still uncounted. Fox News also declared a Biden victory in Arizona, which Trump chief strategist Jason Miller labeled as “trying to invalidate [Trump’s] votes.” After this controversy from the Trump administration, AP published an article explaining the reason Arizona was formally called for Biden, and the news agency stood by the call. According to money, politics and influence reporter Brian Slodysko, a statewide

analysis of ballots showed that there are not enough outstanding votes for Trump to catch up. However, The New York Times has not labeled Arizona as a Democratic victory — regardless of Biden’s 43,779 vote lead. According to AP, Arizona last backed a Democratic candidate in 1996, when former President Bill Clinton was eventually reelected to his second term. Over the last 72 years, 1996 was the only time Arizona voted blue — although 2020 could eventually mark the second and finalize “a huge blow to Trump’s chances for reelection.” After Biden’s victory was confirmed by Fox News and AP, a tweet from political strategist Ana Navarro-Cárdenas’ read, “Joe Biden is the first Democratic candidate in 24 years to win Arizona. I’d like to imagine it as John McCain getting his last laugh.” According to The New York Times presidential election results map, 3 million votes — or 93% of the estimated total — are counted in Arizona, with votes pending from 14 of the state’s 15 different counties. As of Wednesday afternoon, Biden also carried the popular vote by the majority of 74 to 69 million people. This total surpassed former President Obama’s record tally of 69,498,516 votes in his 2008 victory over McCain, as reported by CBS. Other tight races in Eastern states,

including North Carolina and Pennsylvania, were left uncalled, in addition to the critical battles in Georgia and Nevada. According to The New York Times, New England and the West Coast were dominated by Biden, while southern and central sections of the U.S. were decidedly won by Trump. Separate from the contiguous U.S., Hawaii was officially called in favor of Biden, while Alaska remained undetermined late Thursday evening. Trump held a 62.1% to 33.5% lead with an estimated 50% of votes reported, but Alaska only holds three electoral votes, the fewest in the country along with six other states and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, politics reporter Reid Epstein said the president is requesting a recount in Wisconsin after AP and The New York Times officially called the state for Biden. In 2016, a statewide recount increased Trump’s margin by 131 votes over Hillary Clinton, but this year, Biden is currently ahead by over 20,000 votes. As of 9 a.m. Friday morning, Biden narrowly held a lead of just over 1,000 votes in Georgia. The state’s 16 electoral votes could decide the election.




Planning & Zoning Commission approves new housing regulations Trevor Skeen


he Flagstaff Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved case number PZ-19-00125 during its last biweekly meeting. Comprehensive planning manager Sara Dechter said the case was a significant zoning code update recommended within the High-Occupancy Housing Plan. After receiving approval from planning and zoning, Flagstaff City Council heard the case during its virtual Nov. 3 meeting. Following this initial hearing, council will officially approve or deny these changes Nov. 17 before enforcing the finalized updates New Year’s Day. Zoning code manager Daniel Symer said the zoning amendment recommended within the High-Occupancy Housing Plan acknowledges the development type and provides related regulations. Moreover, one component of these changes is high-occupancy housing facilities with four or more units must be located in designated activity centers, which Symer explained is compatible with the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030. “Also, it assists in achieving the city’s and the regional plan’s various objectives of sustainability, limiting sprawl development and reducing the reliance on the automobile to complete daily activities,” Symer said. According to Redfin, a real estate brokerage service, the Flagstaff housing market is “somewhat competitive.” The average sale price of a home was $528,000 in October— up 28.7% from last year — with a mean cost of $249 per square foot. Considering the supply, demand and expense within the city’s housing market — regardless of urban or rural developments — Dechter said historic neighborhoods must also be considered on a case-by-case basis. “The goal in preserving the character of existing neighborhoods is, of course, one that’s a delicate balance,” Dechter said. “We have many different neighborhoods in which high-occupancy housing could


occur, which all have a little bit of different character. But what we’re trying to do is create a chance to review and understand that context, and to hear the public concerns related to these structures.” Symer clarified that one, two and three dwelling unit highoccupancy housing developments (HOHDs) are allowed anywhere in the city. Mixed-use highoccupancy housing developments (MUHOHDs), which also feature commercial space, are allowed in each of the commercial and transect zones that already permit mixed-use developments. Additionally, Symer said any complexes with more than 50 dwelling units per acre or more than 125 bedrooms are limited to regional activity centers, just like four-unit developments. This refined system replaces the previous structure of “rooming and boarding,” which Symer said was “difficult to enforce” based on private

agreements between property owners and tenants. A specific example comes from student-housing complexes, wherein developers could express their intentions to lease by the unit, but actually rent per bedroom. Two previous examples of this trend are The Standard and Fremont Station Apartments, the first of which never needed a conditional use permit. Under the new system of MUHOHDs and zoning requirements, The Standard would need a conditional use permit (CUP) from the Planning & Zoning Commission — and eventually city council — before undergoing construction. Fremont Station, meanwhile, was already approved for a CUP under the traditional rooming and boarding system. In this regard, some developments would still be allowed under the updated regulations, whereas other projects would have needed public approval from city

Photo courtesy of the City of Flagstaff


officials on both the commission and council. If PZ-19-00125 is officially implemented, Symer said developments like The Standard would be legally nonconforming to the updated regulations. “Some of those [living facilities] did go through the rezoning process, so they were heard, but several of those did not,” Marie Jones, a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission said. “I just wanted to mention — on the record — that if these regulations were in place, all of those would have to be heard for a conditional use permit.” Symer also addressed staff’s findings regarding the HighOccupancy Housing Plan, and he specifically mentioned the regulations’ compatibility with other urban planning efforts. PZ-119-00125 is in compliance with the 2030 regional plan, is consistent with the zoning code and is not detrimental to public health and safety.

According to Symer and Dechter’s copresentation, the plan specifically fulfills Regional Plan Policy NH.1.7: “Develop appropriate programs and tools to ensure the appropriate placement, design and operation of new student housing developments consistent with neighborhood character and scale.” Although these adjustments represent the first major changes under the High-Occupancy Housing Plan, Dechter said it was originally implemented in 2016 following the creation of a student housing action plan external working group. The plan also went through 18 months of public engagement between 2017 and 2018, and it was developed after Hub Flagstaff, which is now known as The Jack, was controversially approved for rezoning in 2015. Specific designations for HOHDS and MUHOHDs are also listed under the zoning code, and one example is that single-family housing units are considered high occupancy if they contain 7+ bedrooms or 5+ bathrooms. Additionally, MUHOHDs are categorized by 29 dwelling units or 72.5 bedrooms per acre, along with the mixed-use label that originated from separate commercial space. Another stipulation within these regulations is increased parking requirements closer to the one spot per bedroom ratio. However, Symer said the transit pass parking reduction program allows less spaces if tenants or employees are provided with permanent transit passes. “Staff finds that all criteria have been met — as outlined in the city’s report — and we encourage you [the Planning & Zoning Commission] to make those findings as well,” Symer said.





Postelection positivity is crucial to our recovery trinity archie

Political rifts in romance


eft or right, red or blue, donkeys or elephants. Every person has their own political beliefs, and sometimes, those do not match the opinions of the one they love. Many couples are strained because of tension surrounding the election. The results can also cause a rift when one person is inevitably disappointed and the other struggles with enjoying victory while being supportive. The American Psychology Association discussed the effectiveness of relationships that have different political party affiliations. They did not find voting similarity to be associated with overall relationship commitment, but imply that the differing viewpoints can create a more challenging environment. A political party could be irrelevant HAYLEE EMCH to many when choosing a life partner as people often drift to others who are likeWRITER minded. Political affiliation is often linked to other values and behaviors. A study by Yale University showed with voter registration data that 70% of couples share affiliations, but couples younger than 30 have been more likely to have multiple party affiliations. “It’s possible a strongly identified young Democrat or Republican, for example, might shift a spouse who loosely identifies with a different party towards his or her favored party as the years go by,” the study stated. When relationships influence one’s beliefs and actions, it’s described by social psychologists as the social proximity effect. This idea focuses on how people develop habits and how they affect everyday behavior without the person realizing any change. The theory summarizes that humans are social and want to mimic the people they surround themselves with. It also states that a romantic relationship allows a lot of compromise and develops both sides of thinking. The effect will allow the one with the stronger opinion to influence their partner. This year has proven to be a stressful one, and the election added much of that stress. An NPR article stated 70% of U.S. citizens said the elections are a significant source of stress, and 77% shared they are concerned for their country’s future. The strain of this year has either torn relationships apart or brought them closer together. Regardless of the election’s outcome, people in relationships should strive to become closer to their partner and strengthen their bond, setting political strife to the side as much as possible. The way couples can overcome these differences is to respect each other and their partner’s individuality. Loving someone includes loving all of them. A couple may not agree on everything, but that is an aspect that can keep a relationship interesting. One should support their partner through this time and remember there is beauty in our differences.




t is easy to take on a negative mindset when your preferred candidate is not elected. The 2020 United States presidential race sparked intense feelings of animosity toward all candidates throughout the year. We focused on the potential negatives of what would happen if our preferred candidate did not win. As a result, we lost sight of what is most important. With the election behind us, we now need to focus on repairing the nation after an extremely traumatic year. Local elections are a first step. For those frustrated with the outcome of the presidential election, local government should also be a priority if you truly care about change. The U.S. is currently in a vulnerable position. The elected president’s leadership will determine whether we recover or continue to suffer. This is scary and leads us to assume the worst. Young people are also beginning to lose faith in democracy. According to a 2020 study by the University of Cambridge, those born between 1981 and 1996 are more dissatisfied with democratic performance than both Generation X and baby boomers born from 1944 to 1981. It is unfortunate these young people have such a negative outlook on their own government. I worry this resentment will manifest as a decrease in voter turnout among young people. Many of my peers have developed the opinion that politics are too stressful, so they simply will not participate. We are future educators and politicians who will be greatly impacted by our government’s decisions. Furthermore, under a democracy, the people govern the country. I feel as though we often forget how much power citizens have, given our ability to impact legislation through voting. I also understand this negative outlook to an extent. For the past few years, political turmoil has greatly impacted our government, particularly during the past two presidential races. The 2016 and 2020 elections seemed more like a media frenzy than an opportunity to improve the state of the

U.S. under new leadership. We cannot make the same mistakes we did following the 2016 election. We need to look at these next four years as a fresh start. Our government has new opportunities to make positive changes. These new beginnings should be met with hopefulness. Unfortunately, it seems as though voters are already planning to continue their negative mindsets following the election. A 2020 poll conducted by Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan public opinion polling group, suggests both supporters of Joe Biden and Donald Trump have little faith in the opposing candidate’s leadership. According to the poll, most Biden and Trump supporters said if the other candidate wins, they will be concerned for the state of the U.S. They also believe the opposing candidate will cause lasting harm. About 90% of Biden supporters felt this way about Trump, while 89% of Trump supporters had the same opinion on Biden. This is the state of U.S. politics right now. I understand frustration toward the opposing candidate. Obviously we wanted the candidate we voted for to lead the nation. However, it is counterproductive to carry this frustration on beyond the election. Your anger is not going to change election results. It is time to move on and focus on what we can change. We now need to shift our focus to

local government. Local votes impact our daily lives. State and local elections take place throughout the year. Midterm elections occur every two years. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives also elect every two years.We have these elections to look forward to. According to Rock the Vote, a nonprofit political advocacy organization, women’s suffrage, minimum wage, environmental protection and marriage equality policies all began locally and eventually reached the federal level. These are examples of the impact local voting has on our lives. Local elections need our attention. Now is the time to research local candidates and policies to be placed on upcoming ballots. Rock the Vote also stated only one in five voters participate in off-year local elections. This is proof that too many of us check out of voting when the presidential election is over. You cannot complain about who is elected as president if you fail to participate in local elections. If anything, local government becomes even more important under poor federal leadership. The election results do not determine whether we can achieve success moving forward. We need to make a collective effort toward recovery. Take time over these next four years to vote locally, remain positive and explore new found opportunities. We will repeat the past four years if we make the same political mistakes.

Illustration By RAINEE FAVELA


Voter suppression is alive and Hell EMILY GERDES


or generations, voter suppression has been an issue in the United States. It has evolved over time into more inconspicuous forms, but they are all a threat to the validity of our democracy. Voter suppression disadvantages all kinds of people, from the uneducated, the elderly, to People of Color and individuals with disabilities. It is unconstitutional to discriminate or to suppress the voting rights of any one of these groups and yet, suppression is rampant across the U.S. Efforts to eliminate the voices of Black Americans and other minorities were the foundation of voter suppression. After the Civil War, the implementation of poll taxes disenfranchised the poor, but excluded poor white people due to a grandfather clause. The poll tax required voters to pay a voting fee and the grandfather clause allowed those with white ancestors who voted before the Civil War to be excused from the fee. Literacy tests prevented uneducated, mostly Black people who were banned from learning to read or write due to anti-literacy laws, from exercising their right to vote. These tests were nearly impossible to pass as they contained information the average citizen could not know. The test administrator was the deciding factor on whether the test taker answered the questions correctly, allowing their bias to play a role in who could or could not vote. Since then, more advanced forms of voter suppression have emerged from requiring voter ID, voter registration, prohibiting felons from voting, gerrymandering and the

removal of ballot boxes. In the U.S., 34 states require a form of identification to vote. Government-issued photo identification, such as a birth certificate or passport, can be difficult to access and usually comes at a price. The fees needed to obtain these documents, transportation costs and time spent waiting in lines are obstacles that affect all voters and which a global pandemic amplifies. Indigenous folk and people in lowincome communities are especially affected. NPR reported in 2016, “Almost a quarter of Native Americans in [North Dakota], otherwise eligible to vote, don’t have proper ID; that’s only true for 12% of non-Indians.” Voter identification laws discourage voters and unfairly discriminate against certain groups. In Texas, a handgun license is acceptable as voter ID, but a college student ID is not. This discriminates against a large majority of the eligible voting population. Also in Texas, a court ruled in 2016 that the state’s voter ID law had a discriminatory impact on minority voters and needed to be changed. Simply having voter ID laws is unfair in itself, but adding ID requirements specific enough to disenfranchise entire groups of eligible voters is threatening democracy. Voter ID laws are designed to prevent and stop voter fraud, but voter fraud is tremendously rare. When it does occur, it is usually a computer mistake or human error, not intentional fraud, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. The FBI announced that voter fraud has not occured on a national scale and they are always investigating

potential threats. “We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. The Washington Post reported of one billion ballots cast from 2000 to 2014, there were only 31 cases of voter fraud. Requiring voters to preregister is another form of voter suppression. Some deadlines demand voters to register anywhere from months to weeks ahead of the election, which deters many eligible voters. As of October, 21 states including Washington D.C. enacted same-day voter registration. In the 2018 midterms, states that allowed same-day voter registration saw a 7% increase in voter turnout compared to states that did not. Currently, the only state that does not require any form of voter registration is North Dakota. Felon disenfranchisement is another form of voter suppression found in 47 states. Some states are working to get rid of it, but this form of suppression follows felons for decades after they have served their sentence and are fully functioning members of society. These individuals cannot perform their simplest civic duty of voting because the government prohibits it. A study from the Sentencing Project, an organization working to change the U.S. criminal justice system, reported in 2020 that 17 states disenfranchise individuals during a prison sentence; four states during prison and parole; 16 states while in prison, serving parole and on probation, and 11 states while an individual completes a prison sentence, is on parole or probation

Illustration By christian ayala

and even post-sentence. In the U.S. approximately six million people are not able to vote due to a conviction. Limited ballot boxes and a lack of drop-off locations are another form of voter suppression. MSN News reported the Texas Supreme Court ruled each county would be limited to one mail-in ballot drop-off location. “Among the counties hit hardest by the rule will be Harris County, home to Houston,” MSN News reported. “[This ruling] had dropped its 12 drop-off spots to just one.” Harris County consists of 1,777 square miles and has a single ballot drop-off site. Rhode Island has a similar square mileage and has 39 ballot drop-off sites. Harris residents may need to travel up to 47 miles to drop off their ballot. There has been a widespread delay in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which may have exceedingly detrimental effects on the 2020 elections. USA Today reported in August that the postal service has been losing money for years, but the pandemic worsened financial woes. USPS lacks the additional funding it needs to properly carry out the election. The Washington Post reported that

postal delays affect mail-in ballots, lessening the appropriate time needed to send them back and be counted. A mail service that cannot deliver ballots in time for the election indicates a federal government complicit in suppressing the voice of thousands through an unwillingness to provide crucial funding. Many polling locations have limited hours and are placed in inconvenient areas, which makes it difficult for voters to reach the polls. For parents who have children and need child care, lines that go on for hours are not feasible. Limited polling hours in places such as Indiana and Kentucky, where polls close at 6 p.m. put a strain on working-class citizens who work 9 to 5 jobs and cannot reach a polling place before closing. Gerrymandering is another form of voter suppression. It is the redrawing of district lines to either disperse or concentrate political representation. Gerrymandering amplifies or silences voters and disadvantages the voices of all. Why is voter suppression so problematic? Well, more people will vote if it is easier to, and more votes equal a more representative democracy.




Paul Deasy: A look inside the Joey Wright Editor’s note: At 8:16 p.m. Nov. 3, Charlie Odegaard conceded to Paul Deasy via his twitter account, “Charlie4Flag” congratulating Deasy as the next mayor of Flagstaff. According to Coconino County, 14,448 of the 25,465 total ballots were counted in favor of Deasy.


Flagstaff mayoral candidate Paul Deasy poses for a portrait on his front porch, Nov. 3. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack



lagstaff mayoral candidate Paul Deasy is looking to make changes to the city government from the outside in. Unlike his opponent Charlie Odegaard, Deasy has never served as an elected official, but said he will make changes Flagstaff residents are looking for. Although Deasy could be considered an outsider to Flagstaff City Council, he said he grew up in Flagstaff and has been an active member of the community. He is a father of four and is the president of Bridging Flagstaff, a local labor rights organization. Deasy explained he felt like he represented the values of the Flagstaff community better than candidates running against him. He said the three values that are at the heart of his campaign are harsher stances on student housing developments, climate change goals and labor rights in the community. “People are wanting change,” Deasy said. “We don’t want the same way of doing things and now is the time to make some change.” Deasy is a policy analyst and currently works as a research analyst at NAU. His job is to look at statistics from existing programs and implement changes to better ensure student success. He said his work as a policy analyst has given him experience that will be extremely useful in a mayoral position. “Right now, we have a lot of heart on city council,” Deasy said. “[There are] a lot of people who care about the community that set lofty goals like the 2030 carbon neutrality, but we don’t have those who analyze step by step how we are going to do this. We can set those goals, we can set the destination. I’ll help provide and analyze the roadmap to get there.” Currently, city council is made up of people from many different occupational backgrounds, such as an engineer, an educator, a community organizer and more, Deasy explained. He said he feels his analytical experience will complement the others’ skills by being able to look at evidence to change or implement policy that will enable the city to reach its goals. Deasy said he was the last person to announce his candidacy after being urged by many community members to run for mayor. Eventually, Deasy said his wife was the one who sat him down and convinced him that the community needed him.

Austin Kerr is Deasy’s volunteer campaign coordinator who also teaches United States history at Northland Preparatory Academy. He said he thinks Deasy is the best option for Flagstaff because of the values he holds and his direct personality. “Paul is a straight shooter,” Kerr said. “He’s to the point, he’s direct, and I appreciate that about him versus his opponent who I think is not like that. As a mayor, you need to be a straight shooter and have strong convictions.” Deasy has many items on his agenda that pertain to fixing problems he sees in the current way the city government runs. He said these include communication issues with city council and the community, as well as transparency problems. Currently, many leaders refer to the meeting agendas when asked about certain issues, but the agenda is not digestible to the everyday reader, Deasy explained. One of his goals is to sum up meeting agendas in a way that is understandable for everyone, and then deliver the information to the community via platforms they already use, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. He said this will allow community members to know what’s going on in their local government and give them greater ability to participate in community issues they care about. Regarding transparency issues, Deasy said he wants to create disclosure rules and a code of ethics elected city officials will have to follow. He explained he wants to take an institutional approach to transparency, not just a personal one, so future leaders will be held accountable as well. “We see elected leaders take strong stands, say one thing, then a week later, they vote the exact opposite,” Deasy said. “It makes me question what information was provided, what negotiation

“Paul is a straight shooter. He’s to the point, he’s direct, and I appreciate that about him versus his opponent who I think is not like that. As mayor, you need to be a straight shooter and have strong convictions.” – Austin Kerr, Deasy’s volunteer campaign coordinator


e outsider’s mayoral campaign “People are wanting change. We don’t want the same way of doing things and now is the time to make some change.” – Mayoral Candidate Paul Deasy

happened outside of the public’s view that made them change their mind.” Deasy said he would also like to change the city charter to maintain integrity in city elections. He explained he would like to outlaw dark money — or money from undisclosed sources­­­— in elections. He also said he wants to ensure the way candidates get their names on the ballot is not fraudulent. The process of getting a citizen’s initiative on the ballot is actually more complicated than getting a candidate’s name on a ballot, and this has been abused before, Deasy explained. In the current system, a member of the community has to file a lawsuit for a name to be taken off the ballot, even if the candidate committed fraud to get on the ballot, Deasy said. He said he hopes to eliminate these kinds of government loopholes to keep elections clean. Despite many ideas for change, Kerr

said some people bring up that Deasy isn’t as experienced as the other candidate because of his outsider position. His opponent, Odegaard, has served on city council since 2016, according to the candidate’s campaign website. He also served as vice chairman of the Flagstaff Water Commision and as a board member for both The Arboretum at Flagstaff and Northern Arizona Veteran’s Cemetery Foundation. Kerr explained that Deasy has plenty of experiences that qualify him as a mayor. He also said that lack of experience in a job should never stop you from getting that job, or else one would never gain experience. “I have full faith in outsider candidates,” Kerr said. “If we want to talk about experience, he has a great resume for working in a mayoral position because of his analysis work at NAU. He’s worked with the Arizona Board of Regents, he’s super technical in what he does, he knows

how to read budgets, he has a master’s degree in economics and political science. He’s a welleducated, politically savvy person.” While a lot of emphasis is put on the national election, Deasy and Kerr said local elections are just as, if not more, important. “Your vote very much does count,” Kerr said. “We do a poor job on educating people on local elections because we focus so much on national elections. They are really important because they impact our everyday lives. It’s the state and local elections that really determine what’s happening in your life.” Kerr said it is not the people who are already in an establishment who make big waves, but the people who come from an outside position and are trying to break the norms who have made the biggest impacts in our history.

Flagstaff mayoral candidate Paul Deasy poses in his backyard with his wife, Amethyst and children Eden, Pierce, Beya and Remi, Nov. 3. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack




Photo Illustrations by Michael Patacsil

Organizations mobilize and educate young voters Nancy Flores


hroughout the 2020 election season, some voters volunteered with local grassroots organizations to help educate and register others for the historic election. According to The Guardian, the 2020 presidential election went down in history as with the highest voter turnout since 1908. Grassroots organizations like the Arizona Students Association (ASA) have been focused on getting their communities ready to vote this year. According to the ASA’s website, the organization is a nonpartisan student-run organization that advocates on behalf of all Arizona public universities’ student issues since 1974. Kyle Nitshke, organizing director for ASA, said the organization was focused on getting the NAU community prepared for the 2020 election. Flagstaff is home to thousands of new young voters, many of whom live on campus. These students have found themselves among those listed for calls and texts about the upcoming elections. Some efforts like phone calls and texts can seem like a bit much to young voters, sophomore and first-time voter Lydia Nelson said. “I get a lot of texts, and I get some calls,” Nelson said. “I ignore most of them because I already registered to vote, and I knew who I was voting for. So, I felt like it wasn’t really targeted towards me.” Nitschke said he understands opinions like Nelson’s and agrees that 90% of those ASA contacts through emails, texts and door-to-door campaigns will not necessarily need the extra help. However, he explained the remaining 10% are impacted in a positive way. Bridget Sharpe, Arizona’s state director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has been involved in politics since 2008, when she began working for the Arizona Democratic Party. Sharpe said she also understands the frustration and overwhelming feelings the grassroots organizations’ efforts can cause the recipients, but the campaigns are centered on finding


and helping those who do not know which candidates or propositions should get their vote. “When you get an actual text from a real volunteer and a real person, that can help you, that can help you navigate who the candidates are, what they stand for,” Sharpe said. “I think that’s so important.” Sharpe said, in the end, if HRC’s 100 Days to Election Day Phone Banks can help one person with their voting plan, it is worth it. Sarah Vonck, lead organizer of the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), said nonpartisan organizations’ goals are to get young voters registered and voting by going directly to the source and having peer-to-peer contact. The younger demographic of voters historically has lower voting turnout compared to older generations during elections, Vonck explained. According to NPR, young voter numbers saw a high increase compared to the 2016 election. In the battleground state of Arizona, people between the ages 18 to 29 turned out for early voting. As of Oct. 21, 99,049 early ballots were already received from this age group, contrasted to 18,550 early ballots just four years earlier. Nitschke said he has heard how many young voters ask themselves which candidate represents their views this year. This is what makes grassroots organizations’ efforts crucial as they are helping mobilize those younger voters. Sharpe said her staff has gone remote this year and has utilized digital platforms like Zoom to get their work done. She explained that staff at the 100 Days to Election Day Phone Banks were able to volunteer from home while obtaining all the necessary resources through Zoom training. “It’s not ideal, and it’s not as fun as, you know, being in person and going to a campaign office where there’s tons of people running around,” Sharpe said. “To have it over Zoom is a little underwhelming, but we try and make it as fun as possible.” Sharpe explained to make these virtual grassroots efforts more personalized and fun for staff, HRC came up with small ways to make connections. They will have a playlist going throughout


volunteer shifts and play ice breakers, so volunteers will still get to know one another and feel comfortable asking for help. Nitschke said ASA has also taken precautions with its staff and volunteers during the pandemic. He explained that the ASA did continue in-person interaction and events, while ensuring everyone maintained a safe distance from one another. During their door-to-door campaigns, the organization provided all volunteers with personal protective equipment and maintained a six-foot distance during interactions. Vonck said organizations like Student PIRGs that offer inperson interaction typically make voters more likely to cast a ballot. Peer-to-peer contact not only gets information out, but it can also change the culture of voting among young people, she explained. Sharpe said the HRC did see an increase in volunteers and young volunteers during the 2020 election despite the lack of a traditional campaign office. Throughout the pandemic, grassroots organizations like ASA, Student PIRGs and the HRC have reached high levels of success, Sharpe explained. Vonck said volunteers for Student PIRGs were able to log 80 hours worth of calls in a single day. Meanwhile, Nitschke said the ASA has knocked on over 4,000 doors in Flagstaff and explained responses from young voters have been reflective of the voters’ interests. “We realize that young people are not going to be engaged to go out and vote because of what’s going on in the presidential election this year,” Nitschke said. “We think that young people are going to go vote on the issues that matter to them.” Organizations like ASA and HRC come out during every election, locally and nationally, to encourage people in the U.S. to use their vote to change their community and nation. Nitschke said while for many voters, the presidential election was the focal point of the ballot, there are other topics and candidates on the ballot that deserve to be looked at. He said the key is to vote about what you are passionate about. Educating voters on such topics, he explained, is what the grassroots organizations are there for.


Ariana Grande’s sultry songs are back


eing an Ariana Grande fan for a while, the sexy lyrics in her music are nothing new. If you haven’t listened to much of Grande’s music, the lyrics on her sixth album, “Positions,” may make your jaw drop a bit. There’s literally a song titled “34+35.” You can do the math for that one. The album features three artists: Doja Cat, The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign. Grande’s collaboration with Doja Cat on “motive” has an upbeat club sound that is guaranteed to make you dance along with the music. Although Doja Cat only raps in the third verse, I liked seeing her collaboration with a singer as talented as Grande. When I first listened to Grande’s song with Ty NAYOMI Dolla $ign, “safety net,” it was instantly one of my GARCIA favorites. Grande doesn’t shy away from showing CULTURE EDITOR vulnerability in her music, and this track is packed with emotions. She sings about being nervous to share how she feels with her new lover, while Ty Dolla $ign joins her in the second verse. “I’ve never been this scared before / Feelings I just can’t ignore / Don’t know if I should fight or fly / But I don’t mind,” she sings. Track eight, “my hair,” is one of the album’s more laid-back tracks. In this song, Grande expresses how she wants to let her hair down to get intimate. This track has a calmer beat, which reminded me of Amy Winehouse’s music. I enjoyed seeing these similarities, especially because I love listening to both of these women. My favorite track is “love language.” The song starts with a violin riff, which I thought was an interesting way to begin the track because most of her music doesn’t begin with an instrumental. Grande sings about trying to fix the communication in her relationship over the upbeat violin. The catchy song includes a clever innuendo in the bridge that makes the song even better. “Baby, pardon my French, but could you speak in tongues? / Never lost in translation ‘cause you know what I want, boy / Treat it just like Givenchy (Givenchy), it’s expensive to taste / Ain’t no need to remind ya, it’s AG in your face,” Grande sings. The album closes with a beautiful ballad titled “pov.” This song feels dreamlike with Grande’s soft vocals accompanied by some pretty harmonies in the background. Grande sings about wanting to see herself through her lover’s eyes, no matter what flaws they may see in her. I love when Grande sings ballads because it’s always amazing to hear her vocals dominate in these calmer tracks. Although I loved Grande’s previous work on “thank u, next,” this album is going to stay one of my favorites for a while. We got to hear Grande thriving and happy in “Positions,” and I’m excited to continue listening to it.

Flagstaff city councilmember Jamie Whelan posed for a portrait Oct. 28. Whelan said she is voting in this election as the results may impact women’s rights. Ben Akers | The Lumberjack

100 years of women’s suffrage jorja heinkel


he 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was passed in 1920. Now, 100 years later, female activists and politicians are at the forefront of this year’s historic election. For the first time in United States history, a campaign featuring a woman of color, Kamala Harris, as a vice presidential candidate is leading in the polls. Women’s and gender studies professor Sanjam Ahluwalia said it is exciting to have a Woman of Color on the Democratic ticket, which follows a trend of female political and social justice activism over 100 years. Ahluwalia points to other female leaders advocating for change, such as education activist Malala Yousafzai, Black Lives Matter (BLM) founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi and gun control advocate Emma González. “Women’s history is a pretty powerful corrective to the way we understand the world,” Ahluwalia said. While Ahluwalia does not describe the BidenHarris ticket as inherently feminist, she does describe the campaign as pro-women and an inspiration to women of color in the U.S. and around the world. Ahluwalia said the Biden-Harris campaign and female-led social justice movements, such as reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and BLM only exist because of a long history of discourse enabled by feminism. “I found [feminism] very enabling and very enriching as a lens to understand what is going on and to understand the world around me,” Ahluwalia said. During the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, politics and international affairs professor

Marija Bekafigo said the female vote will be a large factor in determining the direction of the country, and she would like to see more young people voting. According to the Pew Research Center, female voters have maintained slightly higher turnout rates at the polls than their male counterparts in every election since 1984. However, voter turnout rates don’t always translate to presidency, as demonstrated in the 2016 presidential election when Clinton won the popular vote by over 2%, but lost the presidency by vote of the Electoral College. Flagstaff councilmember Jamie Whelan said the 2016 election exemplified how the U.S. voting system often falls short of accurate representation. Whelan said she thinks the U.S. has outgrown the Electoral College. The results of the Electoral College vote do not always reflect the popular vote, which she said is essential. The problem, Whelan said, does not stop at the Electoral College. Whelan said the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court is a bold statement from President Donald Trump and a threat to women’s rights. “It’s a huge statement that our government is not working,” Whelan said. “In a blink of an eye, we can have a dictatorship.” The confirmation of Justice Barrett, which followed the confirmation of two other Supreme Court judges nominated by President Trump, made the majority of the court conservative at 6-3 despite the Democrat population of the U.S. outnumbering the Republican population by 4%. Continue reading on jackcentral.org




Students promote sustainability with their vote Sophia salazar


hile there are different ways to practice environmental sustainability, voting on these issues is an additional option for those who want to use their voice. Just last year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a Climate Action Summit after announcing the 2019 theme: climate action for peace. According to the U.N. website, the theme was created to shine light on the importance of combating climate change. This has been a recent cause for concern and voters are making it a priority issue now more than ever before. Beacon Research, an independent research company, conducted a survey on behalf of the Environmental Voter Project. The study came to the conclusion that 14% of registered voters listed climate change and the environment as their No. 1 priority over other issues. This is a big spike compared to its 2016 research project where polls showed only 2% to 6% of voters found climate change and the environment to be their top priority. According to founder Nathaniel Stinnett, the Environmental Voter Project found that climate and environmental voters are the most motivated compared to their counterparts. Voters who are motivated to make a change in the environment can be categorized as an environmental voter. In the research project, climate and environmental voters were found to be the most willing to wait in line for an average of one hour 13 minutes to cast their vote for the 2020 election. Sara Kubisty, Arizona Student Association (ASA) climate justice director, said voting is important because some votes on the ballot can lead to choices being made by Arizona’s 6th Legislative District. “The [Arizona] Legislative District 6 race is a big one,” Kubisty said. “The people in the state legislature can make some important decisions regarding climate, especially carbon emissions. These elected officials are pushing policy for standards in the state. They can make the choices for you, whether or not businesses can emit carbon emissions, and especially for universities. They can put regulations on renewable energy.” Reps. David Schweikert and Hiral Tipirneni are competing for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District election. Schweikert currently represents the 6th District of Arizona. In a press release provided by Schweikert’s website, he introduced the Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act. This bill


authorizes an approach to conduct research and develop carbon dioxide removal technology. On the other hand, Tipirneni said during an interview with nonpartisan political site Blog for Arizona that her approach is to center her campaign around getting back into the Paris Agreement. Arizona voters have cast votes on various environmental measures related on one’s county. Voters in Glendale voted on whether or not they are in favor of the Parks and Recreation, Street Projects, Landfill Projects and Flood Control Projects bond.


Illustration By tonesha yazzie

According to Ballotpedia, a “yes” vote will authorize the city of Glendale to sell up to $87.20 million general obligation bonds for parks and recreation projects, while a “no” vote will oppose this action. Ballotpedia reports how the landfill projects bond gives voters the possibility to support or oppose $9.90 million in general obligation bonds for creating and improving landfill projects. Freshman environmental science major Melissa Minato said there are a variety of ways for students to learn, teach and advocate for sustainability. “There are a lot of ways for NAU students to get involved on campus,” Minato said in an email interview. “For one, there are amazing clubs such as Green Jacks that advocate for sustainability and anyone is welcome to join to make a difference. There is an O2GO program that aims to minimize single-use plastics by allowing students to return their containers through a machine.” The O2GO program was created to reduce singleuse plastic waste on campus. O2GO containers cost $5. Once students finish their meals, they must return the container back to an OZZI vending machine. OZZI is a sustainability system that eliminates disposable to-go boxes and instead replaces them with reusable containers. Once the container is returned, the OZZI vending machine will give the student a token. From then forward, students will hand the token to the cashier in exchange for an O2GO container. Two of these machines are located in University Union and du Bois Center. Minato said students can individually join the sustainability initiative by composting, recycling and utilizing reusable water bottles. Students can also cut back on water and electricity usage by taking shorter showers, walking or biking to class and shutting off their electronics. Minato advised students to invest in power strips to reduce energy vampires. These are devices that continuously drain energy and power even when they are not being used. The United States Department of Energy provides strategies and solutions on combating energy vampires. Examples of energy vampires include standby coffee makers, hair dryers and cellphones. Continue reading on jackcentral.org


The experience of a first-time voter lisa hall


his year’s election was a first for many NAU students. Some haven’t been able to vote in a presidential election, some have been eligible to vote in the primaries, but for a lot of people, 2020 is their first year voting. Senior Katiya Golowatsch said this is her first eligible voting year for a presidential election. She said she is voting to take action for issues she cares about. “It’s been rough,” Golowatsch said. “The two candidates have strong views on opposing issues that are dividing the nation in two. I believe this election is bigger than the two candidates. We are fighting for the future of America and democracy as a whole.” This will also be the first year voting for sophomore Malik Bossett of NAU’s Black Student Union (BSU), where he serves as the Black History Month chair. Bossett said he has the privilege to vote after his ancestors fought to allow Black people to have this right given to them, and that he is honoring their sacrifice by voting. He wasn’t able to vote in the last presidential election due to his age, but he said he will use his hard-fought right to vote this year, standing by the notion that voting is a civic duty and responsibility. Bossett said he is eager to drop off a ballot. Senior Hannah Ginn has voted in every primary and general election she has been eligible for, although this year is her first time voting for the presidential election. Having already cast her ballot, Ginn said the current administration is detrimental to issues she finds important, such as protecting the environment and human rights. Students can find themselves in similar positions regarding their feelings about the election. These times can be stressful and a lot to deal with, so making the right decision for oneself can be difficult. “I feel very disillusioned by politics during this election cycle as I do not feel like either presidential candidate is able to properly represent me,” Ginn said. “I am tired of being told to vote for ‘the lesser of two evils,’ and would like to be able to elect a leader that runs on a much more progressive and leftist platform.” Having to make a decision like this without a candidate who fully represents one’s beliefs can be a struggle. Of course, a single candidate cannot represent everything for everyone, so many are faced with this struggle during elections. For other students, they have an easy decision regarding their vote. Having a candidate they can fully support gives them the best chance to do right by their own standards. Bossett said he’s both excited and scared of the election’s results, especially because climate change is one of his main concerns. He said he will be thrilled if former Vice President Joe Biden

wins because the Biden-Sanders climate plan, which will put the U.S. on track to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, will be implemented soon after. On the other hand, there is the possibility of the current administration staying in place. “Weirdly, I am scared for the same reason as I am excited,” Bossett said. “I am scared that if Trump wins, runaway climate change will persist and the poorest will suffer the most from it. I am also scared for my safety if Trump wins again because white supremacist terrorists will be more emboldened and would

probably be more likely to carry out murdurous hate crimes.” According to the nonpartisan news website The Conversation, young voters are always the people least likely to vote and be politically engaged. Every election year, young people are ad-targeted to encourage voter turnout in the 18 to 29-yearold age range. Golowatsch said she thinks Generation Z will have a huge impact on the election. Young voters have realized they need to speak up for their futures and they can do that through voting, she said. Bossett said young voters could have a great impact on this year’s election because they want to see substantial change in the country through immigration reform, mitigating climate change, making health care free and making sure everyone, regardless of their characteristics, gets equal opportunity to prosper without systemic oppression. Ginn said young voters have the potential to be a defining voting bloc if they turn out in this election, and she is extremely optimistic about this, given the mass get-out-the-vote efforts she said she’s seen on social media. With so much going on in the world and the unlimited access to the internet, it was no doubt that the social media presence of the presidential candidates would be prominent this election year. Golowatsch said social media has a huge impact on politics and the presidential election this year because the information is so accessible and it allows for people to be easily informed. “I like that social media allows politicians to get their messages out immediately and unfiltered by the media, but I also think it gives them the ability to spread false and misleading information that is taken as fact by their supporters,” Ginn said. Along with the normal media flow of election information and political updates, celebrities began adding their personal takes on the election as well. Actor Jennifer Aniston can be seen on Instagram telling her followers they should be responsible and voting for rapper Kanye West is not funny. Some of the actors from the “Avengers” movies also connected virtually for a fundraiser in support of Biden recently. Rapper Lil Wayne took to Twitter Oct. 29 to show support for President Donald Trump saying they had a “great meeting.” Trump has also received celebrity endorsements from musician Kid Rock, actor Kirstie Alley, actor Scott Baio and others. With both sides having well-supported campaigns and many endorsements, it’s really a toss up on who will win this year. The next four years are riding on this election and both sides eagerly await the results Illustration By dominic davies of this election.





Use your voice, speak your truth

e’ve all heard the term “shut up and dribble” used by political news correspondents as they try to shut down athletes’ voices when it comes to off-the-court

issues. Fox News’ Laura Ingraham vehemently used this quote to mock NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant as they criticized Donald Trump’s performance as president in an ESPN segment called “Rolling With the Champion” back in 2018. In one of the most important, yet toxic elections in history, athletes are doing what they can to make an impact on who gets elected. Athletes began using their platform CAMERON back in May following the death of RICHARDSON George Floyd. They were able to be a part of protests ASSISTANT SPORTS and rallies as just human beings instead EDITOR of athletes without the risk of taking the shine away from racial injustice issues. Some of them even joined in these protests and spoke up against systemic racism and the growing occurrence of unlawful killings of Black people in the United States. Once the NBA returned in July, the issues did not lose their significance as social justice became the focus of the on-court spectacle. The words “Black Lives Matter” made their way onto the court and all players could put league-approved social justice messages on the back of their jerseys. Players noticed the power they possessed following the shooting of Jacob Blake in August. The Milwaukee Bucks walked out of a playoff game in wake of the news and this triggered a two-day sports blackout so that the public was no longer distracted from the atrocities occurring in everyday life. It’s time for the world to accept athletes can no longer be entertainment props. They are people who are affected by the ever-changing political landscape just like you and I. The evolution of the professional athlete has grown beyond winning championships and MVP awards. They now have a responsibility to be leaders of change and to encourage the public to vote, regardless of political preference. 2020 has shown the power of athletes’ voices outside of sports. One of the stronger voices during this time came from NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace following an incident at Talladega Superspeedway, where a rope in the shape of a noose was found hanging from his garage stall. While many people turned against him for speaking out against racism, Wallace held firm and continued to promote the Black Lives Matter movement on and off the track. Times are changing. Professional athletes have finally recognized how big their platform truly is, and will no longer be bullied by those who continue to tell them to “shut up and dribble.” They will use their voice and speak their truth.



Linebacker Tristen Vance runs out of the tunnel before a football game in the Walkup Skydome, Sept. 22, 2018. Photo courtesy of NAU Athletics

Shut up and vote: NAU athletes are ready for 2020 Election david church


he United States 2020 presidential race was another tightly contested competition and an emotional roller coaster. With topics like the COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions, the economy and climate at the forefront of the race, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and current President Donald Trump campaigned hard in swing states, both looking for an edge against each other. With the weight this election brings, NAU athletes have decided to make their voices heard, as well as do their part getting information out on topics like voting registration deadlines and mail-in ballot drop-off locations. NAU graduate student and linebacker Tristen Vance said he is afraid to voice how he feels and let people know what he is thinking. From starting his own social justice podcast with teammate and defensive lineman Brandon Lawless, to even being the focal point of a Joe Biden campaign ad, Vance spoke about how honored he was to be involved. “It was definitely a very humbling experience, for a national campaign of this magnitude to want to recognize one individual at a smaller school in a smaller community like Flagstaff was super humbling,” Vance said. “One of [Biden’s] campaign managers actually reached out to me, and eventually they liked what I had to say and how I aligned with their principles and

morals. Overall, I am super grateful for the opportunity, it was truly special to be selected.” While Arizona has historically been considered a stronghold for the Republican Party, Biden is currently leading Trump in the state. It undoubtedly took a lot of courage for Vance to share his opinions and let them be shown on a national level. Vance also shared the response he received from people around him after the ad aired, and although there were some negative reactions, the reaction has been mostly positive. “There has been a small population of negative feedback, but I knew it would come with that because of the stance that I took and the amount of division that politics can cause,” Vance said. “But overall, the reaction from my teammates, family, friends, has been a really great reception. It’s been powerful and reassuring to me that a lot of people are with me and support me. It touched a great number of people, and it was awesome to be a voice for not only myself, but for other people.” Vance also explained how important he thinks it is for young people in the country to do their part and participate in this election by exercising their right to vote. “It’s hard to find a word for how important it is,” Vance said. “In politics, a lot of times with our generation becoming a big piece of the voting population, it is up to us to gain the things and policies that we prioritize. I feel like, at the end of

SPORTS the day, voting is super important because for the people in minority groups, women, People of Color, they marched and protested just for us to have the right to vote. So, I believe that it is our duty and responsibility to honor them by voting.” Vance is not the only member of NAU Athletics who is doing their part to get information out about the election. The NAU women’s basketball team released a video via Twitter raising awareness about the voter registration deadline for Arizona residents. Women’s basketball head coach

Loree Payne has been a driving force through talking to her players about the social and political landscape. She shared how she feels a responsibility to not only show her players how to be good basketball players, but to show them how to be good leaders as well. “Teaching leadership is more important than basketball,” Payne said. “Athletics is a huge part of what we’re doing, but at the end of the day, basketball, sports, only last for so long, as far as being an athlete goes. So, it’s important to give them a platform and allow them to use that platform to be an agent for change.”

Senior forward Khiarica Rasheed talked about how the idea for spreading the word on voting came about with the team. “It’s just going along with the time and how important voting is,” Rasheed said. “We were already talking about things like social justice, and I think voting is a part of that. It was really a team effort, and the vibes of the times showed us that we should do this.” Athletes who have raised awareness for things like social justice and voting have come under attack over recent years, whether it’s political

commentators telling athletes to “shut up and dribble,” or Trump criticizing the NBA for taking a stand after the death of George Floyd. Vance was open and honest about his thoughts on athletes discussing issues and politics in the U.S. He talked about how athletes are U.S. citizens first, and sports stars second. “It’s really unfortunate that people have that opinion, because it shows a mindset that they want to marginalize a population, and oftentimes that population is majority African American,” Vance said. “To

me, if you are wanting to mute the voices of those people, I think it shows a fear of the power an athlete has and the influence they have. I just don’t know what unqualifies an athlete from speaking out and bringing certain issues to the table.” With the election underway, NAU athletes like Vance and Rasheed are ready to stand up and fight for what they believe is right. Whether Trump stays in the White House, or Biden moves in, it is undeniable that these athletes refuse to sit silently on the bench, and will fight to stay in the game.

Left: Junior forward Khiarica Rasheed holds the ball Jan.16 against Southern Utah University. Right: NAU women’s basketball head coach Loree Payne talks to her team during a timeout, Jan. 26, 2018. Bess Valdez & Maria Saldivar | The Lumberjack





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The Lumberjack -- Vol. 110, Issue 13 -- November 6, 2020 – November 11, 2020 -- 'Unpresidented': A Special Issue -- 2020 General Election Re...

The Lumberjack -- November 6, 2020  

The Lumberjack -- Vol. 110, Issue 13 -- November 6, 2020 – November 11, 2020 -- 'Unpresidented': A Special Issue -- 2020 General Election Re...