Erica Hudson and Clare Robbins Present Research

Clare Robbins ’18 (left) and Erica Hudson ’18 (right) traveled to Portsmouth, NH to present their senior thesis research. (Photo by Nick Fulchino ’19)

Two Politics majors from the Class of 2018 traveled to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Saturday, April 21st to present their undergraduate research theses to the New England Political Science Association’s annual conference. Both Erica Hudson ’18 and Clare Robbins ’18 were a part of a panel that focused on the intersections of race and gender with politics.

Professor Lucas and others in the Politics Department encouraged Hudson and Robbins to apply to the conference after reading their senior theses. Both of them were selected from a large pool of applicants. Professors at the conference said the process was highly selective.

Erica Hudson’s research focused on gender differences in various forms of government in post-Soviet states. The nature of her topic made the research process difficult for Hudson. She said, “I had to find data from the Soviet Era, much of which was only available in semi-rare books that I received through inter-library loan.”

She also shed light on the difficulties for International Relations majors in conducting research. “The South Caucasus region is the most linguistically diverse in the world, so data and papers I was finding were in Armenian, Arabic, Russian, etc. I often found myself wishing I could speak even just one of these languages,” Hudson explained.

Clare Robbins’ research focused on the political participation of Native American women. Robbins explained her passion for this issue. “Native American women are a group of people that have been oppressed for hundreds of years and little has been done about it,” she said. “I wanted to learn more and listen to their stories.” Even though she did a lot of listening, Robbins was cognizant of the complex relationship between white Americans and those indigenous to the United States.

The nature of the relationship provided complications for Robbins who found that Native American women were often unwilling to share their experiences. “The research process was difficult, especially because I was conducting interviews. People are not always willing to sit down and speak for something that may be published or shared publicly, which is understandable,” she said. The one interview she was able to do required Robbins drive for a few hours in snow and sleet.

“I think the most important thing I learned over the course of this experience was that I cannot speak for this group of people, but I can learn from their experiences,” Robbins said when asked about the most important thing she learned from her research.

Attendees of the conference asked questions of both Hudson and Robbins. These questions ranged from the generalizability of their research and the complexities of their research methodologies to questions about their passion for their research topics.

Hudson said the positive feedback she received at the conference was encouraging. She may even continue her research in the future, she said. “I received some great feedback, so I am definitely tempted to continue research, even if I pick it back up later on in graduate school,” she explained. Robbins is not planning on continuing her research on the topic but said that if she goes to graduate school, it is something she would consider.

Hudson also presented her research at a similar conference in Chicago, Illinois earlier this month.

Golden: Every Day Should Be Earth Day

Caitlin Golden ’20 and Kait Brine ’20 holding signs in support of environmental awareness. (Courtesy of Caitlin)

On Sunday, April 22nd, the United States celebrated its 47th annual Earth Day, but this day is so much more than a picture of a mountain that came up on your Instagram feed. Earth Day is the celebration of a planet in peril. The 1970’s introduced the US to the phenomena of loving our earth, but Earth Day is crucial now more than ever. As we face a tense political environment and a revolution of growing climate skeptics, it is necessary that we educate our community and abolish ignorance regarding the fact that climate change is real.  Issues surrounding the current health of our planet range in topic and are deeply complex, and it is not expected that every student knows the ins-and-outs of this harsh reality, but it is imperative that we educate ourselves on ways we can help.

Basic education is the building block for the growth of any overlooked or misrepresented issue. The debate regarding global climate change has become an issue of “Do you believe?” when it should be a conversation surrounding the question, “Do you understand?” The process of educating oneself can both be simple and social, and attending clubs like Green Team and Social Justice Club can be great places to start.

Earth Day presents the perfect window to find the real facts about our climate and educate ourselves as we celebrate our common home. This increased knowledge leads to tangible change, as proper education provides the perfect foundation for awareness and advocacy. Raising awareness isn’t always about marching in major cities (though very important), but can be simple and fun!

On Sunday, for example, Social Justice Club met on the quad with other members of the community to paint rocks with environmentally minded pictures or facts about our planet’s condition. The hope was that scattering these around campus would provide a subtle, but very powerful message about global climate change. In addition, other ways to raise awareness and potentially actualize change can come from keeping up to date on proposed policies regarding environmental regulation and contacting local senators or representatives to voice your opinion on the matter at hand.

While Earth Day is a very important day, the fight against climate change must become something that is talked about each and every day. This dialogue can be sparked by increased education regarding the issue, especially to people who would otherwise be without such opportunities. Earth Day, a day when people come together to have this conversation, should serve as a model for students to continue the important discussions about how to care for our common home – a discussion that I believe Saint Anselm College should have.

Russo’s Review: C-Shop Veggie Burger

Meg Russo of Russo’s Review with today’s review item: the Veggie Burger from C-Shop.

Hi Y’all! Welcome to Russo’s first Review, where I will be talking about all the meals I consume at Saint A’s.  To share a little about myself, I am a vegetarian who is trying to go dairy free, and I love to snack. I texted my friend Meg on Thursday and we got ourselves over to the Coffee Shop/Pub to enjoy a Meg meal.

Being a vegetarian is very hard on this campus, and eating at the Coffee Shop is even harder to pull off.  I decided to try the veggie burger with a side of fries. I also got a side of hot sauce with it. To top it all off, I decided to drink an Angry Orchard.

This veggie burger was an 8/10 as it tasted delicious by itself with no bun or extra items. The veggie burger had many peas, corn, and beans in it and tasted wicked good dipped into the hot sauce/ ranch dip mix.

The angry orchard was also yummy and would recommend to a friend but I would suggest that the C-Shop replace the Angry Orchard draft with Harpoon Cider. My reasoning is strictly about the health of campus! Harpoon cider only has 7 grams of sugar whereas the Angry Orchard has 24 grams of sugar.

Stay tuned for next week’s meal. It’s my go-to Davison-to-go order!

Russo’s Review is a new weekly column written by junior class president Meg Russo ’19.

Lyons Calls on Anselmians to Attend LGBTQ+ Events

Although the semester on the Hilltop is coming to a close, the next few weeks are full of on-campus events. LGBTQ+ issues have been a common topic of conversation this semester, and three upcoming events seek to celebrate every diverse and unique individual on campus.

The first event, occurring next Tuesday from 4:00-6:00 in Perini, is a panel composed of identifying students. This will be the first of many events put on by the new True Equality and Dignity Alliance. Kelsey Warner, T.E.D.A. President says of the event, “The Purpose of the LGBTQ+ Anselmians panel is to make the ‘other’ familiar in community. It is often so easy for any person to make generalizations about a community without knowing the people that decision may affect. As such, we are hoping to show the community that not only do identifying students exist on this campus, they are heavily involved, recognizable Anselmians. We are trying to facilitate a community discussion, but also encourage people to ask questions of the LGBTQ+ panelists to clarify assumptions or stereotypes about the community. Ultimately, we are trying to show that this group is a part of the Anselmian community, and want that community to be as informed as it can be about the individuals that are a part of it.”

The next event is a celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals. Sophomore RA Matt Solomon has worked with dozens of individuals from all reaches of the Saint Anselm community to make this event a success. “LGBTQ+ Visibility Day is an effort to showcase the support of the Saint Anselm community for LGBTQ+ Anselmians. The lack of visible support for the LGBTQ+ community is a large factor in their high suicide and homelessness rates. This event is a celebration of the overwhelming love and unity we share as Anselmians. Yet it also serves as a message for those on campus who may not feel comfortable publicly expressing themselves on campus that they are welcome here. We will have music, yard games, snow cones, a LOT of food, raffles, a performance by Hint of Lime, and much more!” Matt says. Keep an eye out for this monumental event next Thursday from 4:00-6:00 on the Alumni Quad!

Finally, in keeping with tradition, Saint Anselm College will participate in a national Day of Silence. T.E.D.A. treasurer and junior education/English double major Abby Garland sheds some light on what Day of Silence means: “Day of Silence is an annual day of action that holds the purpose of bringing awareness to the effects that bullying and harassment have on those students of the LGBTQ+ community. By taking a day-long vow of silence, those who participate stand with the LGBTQ+ students who have been silenced. This day is more than an excuse to not talk in class. This day is for showing support and giving recognition to those that have been made to feel that they have no voice.” T.E.D.A. will have a table in Davison with more information as well as stickers that students and faculty can take to show support.

I know that the last few weeks of the semester are insanely busy for college students, but if you find yourself with a free moment, I urge you to stop by these three events. At a time when there is so much conflict surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, it is important to reassure identifying students that they have a place on the Hilltop. While each event seeks to explain and celebrate the other, at the end of the day, we are all Anselmians.

A Unique Perspective on Studying Abroad

“We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.” – Oscar Wilde, 1887.

For the last 12 weeks, I’ve been studying at Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham in what are, effectively, the suburbs of London. I made the choice to study abroad rather late in the process, deciding sometime around the 12th or 13th of September 2017 when most students had built their academic career around the choice. Being completely serious, I don’t remember what it was that pushed me to want to study abroad but one morning I popped into my adviser’s office and asked if it was possible for me to study abroad, related to necessary courses and whatnot. With his approval, I went to the Study Abroad Office and, skipping the boring paperwork bits, I arrived in London on January 23, 2018. Since then, I’ve been plucking along, going to class, writing papers, and exploring the lands that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

There are two words in study abroad. “Study” and “abroad.” Each person’s study abroad experience depends on which word they gravitate towards. “Study” or “abroad.” For me, I’ve taken much more strongly to the “study” portion than the “abroad” portion. Studying abroad is just like going to college in America, except you’re abroad.

Sure, there are moments when I’ve had a profoundly foreign experience, like belting the Scottish ballad “I’m Gonna Be” in a hostel bar on the shores of Loch Ness, but, overall, it’s been largely the same as going to college at home. I go to my classes, I listen to my lectures, I do my readings, and I write my essays. I have breakfast and dinner in the dining hall and I watch sport with my newly-made friends. Maybe it’s because I chose to study in the country that Oscar Wilde described as having “everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language,” but my study abroad experience has not filled me with fiery passion for action and adventure that I know a lot of former study abroad students have felt. It has, however, filled me with a breadtheducationaltion experiences.

That fits who I am and has helped me realize exactly what being “me” is. I’m an academic. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in London and in the greater United Kingdom, inside and outside of the classroom. I’ve engaged in hearty debates on everything from Brexit to the Royal Family to Syrian airstrikes to whether Liverpool or Manchester United are the better football team (Liverpool is the correct answer). I’ve explored a Welsh castle from the 13th Century where King Edward I broke the local princes and brought Wales into the United Kingdom. I’ve walked the battlefield of Culloden, where thousands of Scottish rebels were slaughtered to end the final Scottish rebellion. I’ve stood where Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married. I’ve worn a kilt and wandered through the valleys of the Scottish Highlands along centuries-old cattle trading routes. I’ve learned so much about the Westminster system of government, something I already thought I understood.

Some of my favourite moments of studying abroad have been in the classroom or learning in the field. And that works for me.

Photo courtesy of Cameron Lapine ’19.

Saint Anselm Students Could Lose Right to Vote from School

Ashley Motta ’17 (left), Sarah King ’18 (center), and Garrett Meyer ’18 (right) after voting in Goffstown in the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently voted to pass HB 1264, a bill that would change the eligibility standards for voting in New Hampshire. The bill is expected to pass the Senate, and at that point, it will be up to the governor to determine whether or not the legislation becomes law. Sununu’s record on voting rights for college students is mixed, and there is concern among Democrats and college students that he will sign the legislation. Sununu has remained opposed to HB 372, a similar bill that would have restricted college students’ access to voting.

The bill that most recently passed by the House of Representatives makes a four-word change to the voting requirements in New Hampshire. The four words are “for the indefinite future.” Without these words, Democratic legislators say that college students could have their right to vote where they go to school threatened. College students who choose to still vote in New Hampshire would then have about two months to become New Hampshire residents or face criminal charges.

Voting where one goes to school is a constitutional right. In Symm v. United States (1979), the United States Supreme Court affirmed a student’s right to register and vote in the town they go to school. However, state-by-state efforts to disenfranchise students have persisted.

Democratic legislators, including state senator Donna Soucy, an alum of Saint Anselm College, argue that the legislation is a direct affront to college students. However, their opposition is deeper than that. Senators Soucy and Jeff Woodburn argue that the legislation would make New Hampshire less appealing to younger residents, hurting the state’s economy.

New Hampshire College Democrats President Olivia Teixeira ’20 spoke passionately against HB 1264. In opposing the legislation, she tied the issue of voting rights with core tenets of Saint Anselm’s Benedictine values. “Especially here at Saint Anselm,” she said, “we are dedicated to serving our surrounding community and leaving it better than when we came, and having a part in electing local legislators for the area is no different.”

Saint Anselm students are eligible to vote in Goffstown municipal elections in addition to the state and federal races that get more attention. In the past municipal race in Goffstown, one Saint Anselm alum, Joe Alexander ’18, won an election to the Goffstown Budget Committee.

Teixeira, who also serves as the president of the Saint Anselm College chapter of the College Democrats, said she was impressed with how much students on campus have been involved with the issue. “Over the past few months, I have seen the true power of student voices speaking out against these bills in the State House and fighting for their right to vote in a place that in every other sense has been accepted as our home,” Teixeira said.

Saint Anselm students have been active voters in the area for years. In the 2016 election, various campus clubs organized rides to the polls for students – a service that both Democrats and Republicans took advantage of. However, Tim Madsen ’19, the president of the Saint Anselm College Republicans, declined to comment on the legislation.

Vice President of the Saint Anselm College Democrats Haley Bragdon-Clements ’21 stressed that the issue of voting rights is not, in her mind, a partisan issue. “When the right for students to vote comes under attack it is our job to come together in opposition of such bills. This should not be a partisan issue as all of us are at risk of losing our voice,” she explained. Bragdon-Clements went on, “I would love for the College Democrats to work with the College Republicans. This is a time where we can come together and fight for something that is absolutely essential to our democracy, our right to vote.”

Whether or not the campus Republicans join the campus Democrats in opposing HB 1264 and similar measures, it will ultimately be Governor Sununu’s decision if the bill passes the Senate as expected. Sununu has maintained a general opposition to disenfranchising students but has avoided commenting specifically on whether or not he will veto HB 1264 if it gets to his desk. Without a definitive statement from the governor, the fate of students’ access to voting in New Hampshire remains uncertain.

Cover image taken from Granite State Progress; in-text photo courtesy of Sarah King ’18.

America’s Grandmother, Barbara Bush, Dies at 92

First Lady Barbara Bush, wife of the 41st president and mother of the 43rd.

She and Abigail Adams are the only women in history who hold the distinction of being the wife of one U.S. president and the mother of another. On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away peacefully at her home in Houston holding the hand of her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush to whom she was married for more than 70 years. She was 92.

Barbara Bush will always be remembered for her role as the matriarch of one of America’s most iconic political families. Her loyalty to her family was a key component of Mrs. Bush’s character. Sometimes, her devotion got her in trouble, like in 1984, when she said that her husband’s opponent for vice president, Geraldine Ferraro, was something “that rhymed with rich.” The comment reflected Mrs. Bush’s unrelenting love for her family. Years later, despite advancing age and poor health, she joined her son, Jeb, on the campaign trail extensively throughout his failed 2016 campaign for the White House.

Her down-to-earth demeanor won her more friends than enemies, though. She was open about the fact she wore fake pearls and her wit made her a top campaign surrogate in four national campaigns. Even though she was careful not to overshadow her husband, she won the affection of the nation and came to be known as America’s grandmother. It was a fitting role given that she was often surrounded by her own grandchildren while on the campaign trail.

Sarah King ’18, who wrote her senior thesis on the role of the First Lady, said she was deeply upset by Mrs. Bush’s death. “People often only associate Barbara Bush with her love story, which is surely a beautiful aspect of her life,” King said, “but I think of Mrs. Bush as the woman who held an infant with AIDS close to her chest, as the woman who won over a particularly difficult Wellesley crowd by calling for a female president, and fought for not only childhood but adult literacy.”

Mrs. Bush’s advocacy is a less-known aspect of her extensive time in the public eye, but it is an important part nonetheless. Throughout her husband’s four years as president, the First Lady traveled to classrooms around the nation to promote reading. It was a message her daughter-in-law, Laura Bush, would reiterate eight years later when Barbara’s son, George W., became the 43rd president.

In his statement on her passing, President Donald Trump acknowledged Mrs. Bush’s extensive work on the issue. “Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well,” the president said in a statement.

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama also released a statement upon news of Mrs. Bush’s death. In their statement, they said they were “grateful for the way she lived her life – as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”

As news of Mrs. Bush’s death spread throughout the nation and Saint Anselm’s campus, Sarah King helped to frame Mrs. Bush’s legacy in the context of other First Ladies. “When it comes to First Ladies it is so easy to want to place them in boxes or pit them against each other based on personality, but Barbara Bush reminds us that it’s okay to defy those expectations. She was unapologetically herself from start to finish while never diminishing those around her.” Few would disagree.

According to a directive from the White House, U.S. flags will be flown at half-staff until Mrs. Bush is buried.

Cover image from; portrait image from the White House Historical Association.

Erin Howard Bikes for a Cure to MS

Erin Howard ’19 (second from left) seen riding with her team during last year’s bike ride.

While students usually spend their summer months reflecting and preparing for the new school year to come, Erin Howard, a member of the class of 2019, will be training endlessly in preparation for her four Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway. The Cape Cod Getaway is a charity bike ride that focuses on raising money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that is often unpredictable and disabling and can result in dangerous, lifelong symptoms. The ride consists of traveling 150 miles, starting in Boston and ending in Provincetown, in a matter of two days. For Erin, the bike ride may not be easy, but it’s deeply personal. Her Aunt Pam, who used to participate in the Cape Cod Getaway bike ride alongside Erin and her family, was diagnosed with MS in her twenties. She is a constant motivation for Erin.

The two days are broken up into an average of 75-80 miles-per-day, and riders are greeted with monstrous amounts of support by those cheering them. Support vehicles are constantly nearby, providing water and other basic needs to the bikers while they make their tremendous ride up and down hills and bumpy roads. For Erin, her support network includes her family and friends, some of whom have been diagnosed with MS themselves, and are right there riding beside her.

The morning of the June event is less than three months away, and as the race nears, Erin has begun to reflect on her previous race experiences. She recalled her emotions as the announcer started to call out teams to officially start the ride. “The start of the day is full of some nerves building up,” she said, “but at the same time happiness as soon as we all arrive at the carrels and join our teams. The minute they start calling teams everyone gets excited and they blast music and one by one each group is sent off.”

Erin, who used to volunteer at the event, described the time she crossed the finish line and completed her first Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway, “I felt an overwhelming amount of exhaustion and joy. I was amazed that such a large amount of people could come together to complete such a mentally and physically draining two days, but all with smiles on their faces.” Erin emphasized that when it comes to the Cape Cod Getaway, everyone is a winner and that it’s important to remember the event is not a race. Everyone who is riding is working towards a better future for all those affected by MS.

With fundraising just beginning, Erin’s team, Naughty Wheelers, has raised a little under $1,000 dollars, with the ultimate goal of $20,000. Erin’s Aunt Pam continues to be an inspiration for her family to continuously push forward and help create a stronger community, where every mile provides hope for a world without MS.

You can help Erin’s effort by donating to her official Bike MS fundraising page here.

Photos provided by Erin Howard ’19.