Promises Broken or Promises Kept: Biden’s First 100 Days in Office

During his campaign, President Joe Biden broadcasted a lot of different messages to the public. He was entering the white house during a time of general discomfort with the government and a negative opinion of the previous administration. The country was working to combat high rates of homelessness, unemployment, police brutality, racial injustices, and a worldwide pandemic. All Americans were hoping that his actions would do something to confront this unhealthy atmosphere. 

The Hilltopper chose to look into some of these major campaign promises to determine if Biden had followed through with real change since taking office. We’ve broken it down into four major categories.

COVID-19 Response:

Biden won the 2020 Election well into the COVID-19 pandemic and because of this, much of the media’s attention was on his response to it. He opened with his American Rescue Plan which became an outline for the relief legislation making its way through congress. In this $1.9 trillion package, stimulus checks were provided to those families in need, as well as funding for reopening schools, aiding small businesses, and vaccination infrastructure. The bill passed on March 11. He also set a goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days. He blew that number away in only 59 days and instead upped his numbers to 200 million by his 100th day. On top of this, he also rejoined the World Health Organization in the hopes of a return to normal in the fall of this year.

Civil Rights Protections

Under President Biden we have not seen the end to police violence targeted towards people of color. On the campaign, Biden promised to create a commission to oversee police brutality at the national level but in April the idea was scrapped. However, AG Merrick Garland made an announcement that there would be a civil investigation into the Louisville and Minneapolis police departments. The new administration has put its support behind the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed by the US House in March. 

Biden also promised voters on the trail that he was the candidate to increase diversity and inclusion. He called for the immediate passing of the Equality Act, amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation. It passed the House in February and now sits in the Senate. Biden himself however has not pushed for any movement from the Senate on this legislation since its passing in the House.

Climate Change

Since Biden’s January 21st inauguration, wildfires have ravaged the California forests, and Texas has practically frozen over. Many grew weary over how the planet was responding to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Biden has kept his promise to make America more “green-minded.” He issued an executive order on day one to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. He also stopped the development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. Biden’s team also established the Office of Domestic Climate Policy in the White House. In progress, Biden and his administration have a plan to conserve 30 percent of American land and water by 2030 and help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Voting Rights

Biden promised to update the Voting Rights Act. He also wanted to pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment. These bills are all awaiting their respective hearings in the US Senate where Republicans have been staunchly in opposition of their passage. These motions by the President have not been met with great acceptance across the country either. In Georgia, a law was passed that led to widespread protests, boycotts, and even a withdrawal from the MLB in hosting its All Star Game in Atlanta in 2021.

Anselmian Abbey Players to Put Shakespeare’s Macbeth on the Green

After a tumultuous year dealing with the many setbacks felt from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anselmian Abbey Players continue to find a way to do what they love and perform great theater for the Saint Anselm campus. Their upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be the first major production that the new director of the Abbey Players, Daniel Bird Tobin, will be spearheading. Macy Doucette (‘22) is stepping in as the Assistant Director for the production. This show is unlike anything many members of this community have seen before. They will be performing, not in their typical home in the Koonz Theater, but instead braving the elements outside on the rugby field for three showings on April 30th, May 1st, and May 2nd all at 7:30pm. The cast and crew are beyond excited to present the show as they have been working diligently putting it together, even with a few hiccups along the way.

Macbeth tells the story of three witches who predict for Macbeth that he will one day rise to the throne and become the King of Scotland. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth then kills the king, takes the crown for himself, and proceeds to kill many more out of paranoia. A civil war erupts to overthrow Macbeth, resulting in even more tragedy. It is one of Shakespeare’s most timeless and detailed works and, despite being sent home for two weeks in the middle of the rehearsal process, the Abbey Players were up for the challenge. Unlike other shows the Abbey Players have put on, this show will be staged in the round, meaning that audience members will be seated on all sides of the stage and get an up close and personal view of the actors on stage.

The show stars seasoned veterans of the Abbey Players, Morganne Mutkowski (‘22) as Macbeth and Nicole Sherwood (‘21) as Lady Macbeth. The cast is rounded out with Izzy Petrosino (‘24), Phillip Dragone (‘21), Christine Quirion (‘22), Ryan McDonough (‘22), Flannery Moore (‘24), Madison McKeon (‘21), Mia Tidd (‘24), Daniel Gaby (‘23) and Bryan Lavoie (‘22). 

To reserve your spot, as seating is limited, sign up to attend any of the three shows here. Bring a blanket for a spot on the grass, or instead choose to sit in a chair for this incredible production.

Candidates for Student Body President and Vice President Speak Their Minds

In continuing with The Hilltopper’s coverage of the Student Government Association elections, our team reached out to the candidates running for Student Body President and Vice President for the ’21-22′ academic year. There will be two tickets on the ballot. Richard “Rit” Flandreau and Kevin Chrisom, as well as Aidan Pierce and Jackson Peck will be running for President and Vice President respectively. Both tickets are already hot on the campaign trails and we are glad to support their runs in whatever capacity possible here at the Hilltopper.

We sent a questionnaire to each candidate and had them fill out their responses for us to deliver to the student body. Rather than summarize their answers, we at The Hilltopper would rather you, the voters, to see their actual words and answers to the questions we posed to them. Below, find the questions and ansers, as written by the candidates to the questions we saw most important to the Saint Anselm community.

What is your name, major, class, and position you are running for on the ticket?

Richard ‘Rit’ Flandreau, Finance and Accounting, 2022, President

Kevin Chrisom Politics, 2022, Vice President

Aidan Pierce, International Relations and History, 2022, President

Jackson Peck Politics & History Major, Peace and Justice Studies Minor, 2022, Vice President

What other organizations are you involved in on campus?

Rit: Admissions, Alumni Relations, SEAL, ARC

Kevin: NHIOP Ambassadors

Aidan: The Hilltopper, IR Club (Vice President), Research Assistant @ Politics Department, Student Response Task Force Member

Jackson: True Equality and Dignity Alliance (TEDA), Transitions Program, Res Life, The Hilltopper

Why did you choose to run for Student Body President/Vice President?

Rit: When Kevin and I ran last year, we wanted to collaborate with different departments to increase engagement. For our re-election, we would like to continue this, as well as the several projects in the works.

Kevin: I chose to run for SGA VP to advocate for students and seek change within the Student Government Association. I found the SGA had a lot of untapped potential that needed to be used. I chose to run because I love this institution and the many things it has to offer. To be a part of this organization is a great honor, and it’s something I will always cherish. I wanted to be a true advocate for the student body and I feel as though I have done that as VP. It would be a tremendous privilege to continue serving in this capacity.

Aidan: I chose to run for Student Body President because I believe strongly in my vision for what SGA can be. At its best, SGA can be a conduit for students to take an active role in what happens at their home away from home. I’m confident in my ability to see this vision out because I believe hard work breeds results, and I’ve been working hard on behalf of the student body since the beginning of my freshman year. I love Saint Anselm College. Because of this love, I am compelled to do all I can for it, and I see no better way to carry this vision through than as Student Body President.

Jackson: I chose to run for Student Body Vice President because Aidan and I have been working together for years to advocate for our peers and ensure that their concerns are heard, so we felt that running to represent our peers at the highest possible level would be the best way to continue that student advocacy. We have a vision for what this school could be, and we want to ensure that at the center of all decision making at Saint Anselm College is the Student Body. Any decision which effects students should involve student input, and as President and Vice President we would be able to most effectively ensure students have a say.

What do the duties and responsibilities of President and Vice President of SGA mean to you?

Rit: It certainly means a lot that we were elected to represent the whole student body, and to be liaisons on different committees and to the administration is something that I take great pride in.

Kevin: There are several duties of the SGA VP. The President and Vice President serve as the chief liaisons between the student body and College administration, meet weekly with the Dean of Students, and biweekly with the College President, sit on committees, organize initiatives, fundraise, and more. The Vice President serves as the President of the Student Senate.

Aidan: Being the President of SGA means setting the example for the rest of the student body. Now, more than ever, bold student leadership is needed to empower the student body to achieve more than ever thought possible. The pandemic has illustrated the need for this bold leadership, which comes with great responsibility. Exemplifying what it means to be an Anselmian means respecting public health rules, encouraging diversity and inclusion, and advocating for the student interest first and foremost. I promise to exemplify these ideals and more if elected.

Jackson: Stand up for students. Even if it might be a difficult, the first responsibility and duty of the Student Body President and Vice President is to stand with the student body and ensure that their concerns are met with support. Supporting our students will be our main concern, and if we meet challenges in our mission to support the student body we will overcome those challenges, because nothing means more to us than the students of Saint Anselm College.

What sets your ticket apart from the other?

Rit: Kevin and I have been in office for a year now, and have built strong connections across campus. Moving forward, we will be able to collaborate with these relationships we have created and can have a large impact on future and current classes.

Kevin: We put the College’s needs over our own. We work in a collaborative manner with College administration and are proud to do so. Our term has been a record of strong accomplishment from an unprecedented Student Response Task Force, to strides made on mental health, our administration has made long-lasting change for students. We are practical in our work and are proud of it. We have rewrote how SGA operates and have given future leaders the chance to act upon it.

Aidan: Our teamwork and experience. Jackson and I have a combined 5.5 years of experience in SGA, and I personally have served continuously in SGA since the beginning of freshman year. Furthermore, our cohesiveness as a team was on full display in the Student Response Task Force, where Jackson and I spearheaded the project discussions and the ultimate report. We were in lockstep every step of the way on this project, which is unique to our ticket. Jackson and I have the personal and professional relationship necessary for the job, and the evidence bears this claim out.

Jackson: I think the biggest things that sets us apart from our competition are our longterm friendship, our experience, and our effort to be open and transparent about what we stand for. Aidan and I met each other in 2017 while in Washington D.C., and when I came to Saint As, he was the only person I knew and we just so happened to be in the same orientation group, so naturally we became very good friends. We have been close friends for multiple years now, and in nearly everything we do on this campus, Aidan and I are a team. I think a year of experience working together is commendable, but I think that the length of my friendship with Aidan as well as our history of working together as a team is a big factor in what sets us apart. SGA was the first group that we both joined, because we have cared about this organization and its mission since the beginning. Aidan spent two years as a class Senator and now serves as the Chair of the Academic Committee. I spent a year in the Senate and a year as our class Vice President. We were two of the main writers of the Student Response Task Force Report, we’ve sought transparency from administrators through The Hilltopper, and remain active members of a few other clubs. Aidan and I have always been involved on campus within SGA and beyond, and I think that sets us apart. I’d say the biggest thing though, is that if you go on our Instagram campaign page you can look through not only the things we care about, but also the specific policy goals we hope to accomplish. What sets us apart is that if you asked us what we stood for we could give you a concrete list of the things we want to accomplish and how we plan to do it. Any candidate can say they want more of this or less of that, but Aidan and I have a plan, and we’re open and transparent about that plan. Thats something unique we bring to the table.

If during your tenure you could only push one major initiative on campus, what would that be and why?

Rit: I would like to push engagement the most, which would include the idea of collaboration, because we put an emphasis on STUDENT in Student Government Association. Our purpose is to create a positive impact on the student college experience.

Kevin: A joint Task Force between Administration and SGA to focus on problems ranging on a variety of areas. Often times, students don’t know where to go to bring information or express concerns. I would strongly push for this joint effort to meet the needs of the students as well as to forge a stronger working relationship with College administration.

Aidan: Diverse student voices must be elevated around campus. This starts with ensuring that students are able to pick their own representatives to the Board of Trustees and other Administrative committees/working groups, and creating a Secretary of Diversity and Inclusion as an Executive-Board level position in student government. Student Government must be representative of the whole student body, and this starts with making sure all student voices are heard loudly and clearly. We believe in this strongly, and is the reason why we have made what we stand for clear to the entirety of the student body.

Jackson: There are multiple parts of our platform, all of which are available to review on our Instagram page, but personally the initiative I am most excited about and the one I see as integral to the success of the college is supporting diversity and inclusion. What has SGA done to support the college’s diversity and inclusion initiatives? Not enough. Aidan and I would start by appointing a Chair of Diversity and Inclusion to the SGA Executive Board. Next, we would form an SGA subcommittee thats sole responsibility would be to coordinate efforts with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to integrate college goals with SGA activities and initiatives. We would also use the club appropriations process to incentivize club programming centered around diversity and inclusion. These policies, we feel, are important to the success of the college and we should be doing everything possible to support and strengthen our diverse student body and ensure we are as inclusive as possible as a college community.

If you could continue to push one major initiative already in place, what would it be and why?

Rit: We would like to continue to push the environmental issues. We have revived the Respect the Nest campaign, and we plan to continue with this and more.

Kevin: Continued efforts regarding recycling. The SGA Respect the Nest Committee has been reformed and rebuilt to play a larger role on campus. I would continue to advocate for the Student Senate to be more vocal in their calls for strong environmental policies across campus. The work of the Respect the Nest Committee has made a long-lasting impact and we look forward to continuing that effort in our second term.

Aidan: Respect the Nest and the recycling initiative. For as long as I have been in Student Government, the process of making this campus more environmentally-friendly has been, admittedly, disappointingly slow. This isn’t for lack of effort: student activists like the Green Queens of Saint Anselm show that there is a real appetite amongst students for bold changes to this campus’ environmental footprint. Within the first month of our administration, we pledge to push the Respect the Nest campaign to higher places than ever before, with increasing recycling accessibility at the forefront of the push.

Jackson: A few years ago, the Respect The Nest Campaign got started on campus. As Eagle Scouts, we both care a great deal about the environment and we think that supporting the Green Team and using the SGA Senate to focus our efforts on increasing education around recycling as well as recycling opportunities is incredibly important. Tyler Cullen has done a great job this year as the Chair of the Respect The Nest Committee, and we hope to capitalize on the work he’s done next year.

If you could change one major thing about SGA what would it be and why?

Rit: Kevin and I wanted to utilize the resources on campus more, and to get more student input: but we have done just that. From the Student Response Task Force to many resolutions, it has been a very productive year.

Kevin: Make SGA more engaging across campus. Many say that SGA doesn’t do anything because they are not as vocal in the community. Making SGA more of an engaging entity would surely change the institution for the better. I am committed on continuing to make that happen.

Aidan: SGA needs reformation at the level of the Executive Board. We pledge to create and fill the position of Secretary of Diversity and Inclusion as a cabinet-level position so that SGA can be truly representative of every Anselmian, regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation. In my three years in Student Government, we have strived to be aware of prejudices and biases in our association, but in order to fully realize our goal, diversity and inclusivity must be treated like the executive-level priority it is.

Jackson: SGA is not as productive as it can or should be. As the President of the Senate, I would set goals for the Welfare, Room and Board, and Academic Committees to ensure that we have a constant stream of resolutions coming before the Senate. On day one, I will sit down with our appointed chairs of the three committees and ask them to work with the senators on their committees to brainstorm five issues they want to focus on, at least three of which I would expect to see a resolution on by the end of the semester. So, in summary, I would work to ensure we’re being as productive as we can be.

Where is your go-to spot on campus to interact with your constituents?

Rit: I like to go to the Student Center because I get to engage with all classes and the several organizations which are housed there.

Kevin: My office in the Student Center. I have an open-door policy and constituents are always welcome to come in and talk.

Aidan: Before Covid? C Shop, especially when there’s a live performance brought to us by CAB! During Covid, the Jean Student Center (which originated as an SGA initiative) has really emerged as a fantastic place for students to interact and intermingle, most especially in Campus Ministry, Meelia, and the Intercultural Center.

Jackson: The Student Center or Davison Hall are definitely the best two spots to stop and chat with people about their day. I can be confident that every time I walk into the Student Center I will see a friendly face, someone tabling, or the multiple offices buzzing with activity. The Student Center is the hub for student activity on campus and its my favorite place to meet and visit with people.

Is there anything we missed that you want to make known to our team as we put together our coverage of the election?

Rit: Hawks Keep Soaring, #RK2021

Kevin: N/A

Aidan: Jackson and I don’t just talk, we have the chops to really get this job done. We are both Eagle Scouts, and this has informed our prioritization of environmentalism in our campaign. For myself, as a Park Ranger, I do the work of conservation and preservation on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I have developed years of experience serving the environment. I truly believe we are the best team for the job, and our experience speaks to this belief.

Jackson: We want to be open and transparent about our campaign and what we stand for. Our entire platform with specific policy breakdowns, all of our endorsements from groups and students, and our own statements are available on our Instagram! We’ve also been working with our campaign team to hand out stickers, hang up posters, and speak with members of the student body. We’re proud of our campaign and we’re excited for voting on Thursday and Friday!

Be sure to check out the Instagram pages of the candidates @flandreauchrisom2021 and @pierce_peck_2021 for more information on their campaigns and to stay up to date with the latest Student Body Election news.

We at The Hilltopper would like to thank all four of the candidates for taking the time to respond to our survey and let their voices be broadcast to our readers. If you still have questions you hope the candidates can answer, reach out to our Chief of Staff, Bryan Lavoie, at blavoie438@anselm.edu and we’ll get the answer and update the article as soon as possible. Be sure to tune into the Study Body Speeches on Wednesday March 24th at 8pm via Zoom. Also, you can submit questions for the candidates to answer following their speeches to SGAIP@anselm.edu prior to the event!

Georgia Goes Blue: Warnock, Ossof Defeat Loeffler, Perdue In Runoff Election

Following the declaration of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump, many eyes of the political landscape turned to Georgia’s Senate election. Hidden among the chaos that was November 6, 2020, many states not only voted for the President but also for their Senators and Representatives in Congress. 

Following election night, almost every state was able to announce their winners soon after the votes were counted, all except Georgia. Georgia has a special rule in place that says a Senate candidate must win with at least 50%+1 of the vote in the state. If this fails to happen then the top two candidates will then move on to a runoff election where the winner will take the Senate seat. Georgia had two Senate seats up for reelection as Senator David Perdue’s term had expired, and one following the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson. On January 6, both races were officially called, Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock beat out Republican Kelly Loeffler for Isakson’s seat and Democrat Jon Ossof beat incumbent Republican David Perdue. 

These results are key looking forward to the state of the Federal Government in the first two years of Biden’s presidency. With the double Democratic victory in Georgia, both chambers of Congress hold a Democratic majority. In the Nancy Pelosi led house Democrats lead 222-211. In the Senate, there is a 50-50 split, but the Vice President, Kamala Harris, will break ties for the Democrats. This means Democrats will likely be able to get a lot of bills passed in both houses without the need to pass through a chamber held by the opposing party. This being said we can likely expect a slew of bills being passed within the first two years of the Biden presidency as he looks to utilize this majority to his advantage. 

One thing is uncertain, however, could the progressive wing of the Democratic party attempt to use this majority to swing the democratic platform to the left by withholding their support unless their wants are met? Only time will tell. Democrats have full control of the federal government for the first time since the 111th Congress in 2009 following President Obama’s historic rise to the presidency.

Live Updates on the 2020 Election

On the day before the election, both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are hoping for unprecedented voter turnout. So far we have already seen early voting reach two thirds the level of total votes cast in 2016, which already is a great sign for participation in this year’s election. According to FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Election tracker, an interactive site showing predictions by election analysts, Joe Biden is leading going into November 3rd with an 89 out of 100 chance of winning, whereas Donald Trump has a 10 out of 100 chance. On November 3rd and the days following, many people will have their eyes on what will likely be some of the most important swing states: Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and Ohio. These four states account for a total of 105 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the electoral college. When these states are called it is likely we will have a sound idea of who will emerge victorious in the 2020 Election.

Follow along with The Hilltopper’s Coordinator of Off-Campus News, Bryan Lavoie, and Coordinator of On-Campus News, Meghan Query, as they provide live reporting on the results as they come in

Live Updates:

1:35pm 11/3:

Texas, which hasn’t voted blue in a presidential election since voting for Carter in 1976, is listed as a tossup this year, with Biden polling just 1.5% behind Trump according to FiveThirtyEight. Texas has already had record voter turnout this election, with more people voting early than total voters in 2016. More democrats are voting early than republicans this year, so Texas is definitely a state to keep an eye on over the next couple of days, as it will likely play a significant role as a battleground in this election.

Ohio is also an important battleground this year, with Trump polling just 0.6% ahead of Joe Biden. No republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio, so both candidates are hopeful that they will take Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.

Pennsylvania is arguably the most important battleground state in this election. Should Biden take Pennsylvania, as polls predict, FiveThirtyEight expects that his chances of winning go from 89/100 to 99/100. Should Trump take the state, as he did by 1.6% in 2016, his chances of winning a second term go from 10/100 to 60/100. Pennsylvania is expected to play a significant role this year, and may even be the deciding state in this election.

Politico has listed Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as the deciding states in this election. These 8 states hold 127 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the electoral college, and all 8 states are polling in favor of Joe Biden. All of these, except for Minnesota (which has voted exclusively for democratic candidates since 1976), voted for Trump in 2016. 

Both candidates are hoping to take these crucial states in the electoral college this year. Keep an eye out for more updates on these battleground states as results start to come in from each of them later tonight, and as votes are counted over the next several days.

5:35pm 11/3:

Just hours before the first polls are set to close, several states are reporting instances of voters receiving suspicious robocalls spreading false information about voting. Some calls told voters to “stay home, and stay safe” while others attempted to convince voters to vote tomorrow due to long lines at the polls. In recent weeks, other messages have been sent to voters from “Proud Boys” email addresses, attempting to intimidate voters into voting for Trump. Investigation into these issues are ongoing, and state officials are very concerned by these attempts at interfering in the election process this year. It is unclear whether any of these issues have impacted voter turnout, as several states are on track to see record turnout this year.

6:10pm 11/3:

Be very wary of exit polls. As always take these polls with a grain of salt. With a record breaking number of mail in votes being tabulated throughout tonight and deeply into tomorrow morning, expect exit polls to swing in favor of Donald Trump as many in person voters today will be voting his way and many of the mail in votes will go to the former Vice President. Pay closer attention to specific precincts and counties reporting rather than any exit polls. The Hilltopper will be providing updates on the confirmed results from precincts rather than these exit polls.

8:30pm 11/3

Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee are going to Trump

Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. are going to Biden

Biden leads 44-42

9:00pm 11/3:

Arkansas is projected Trump

New York is projected for Biden

Biden leads 73-48

9:20pm 11/3:

Trump takes South Dakota

Biden takes Connecticut

Biden leads 80-51

9:25pm 11/3:

Trump takes North Dakota and Alabama

Biden takes Colorado

89-63 for Biden

9:35pm 11/3:

An Update on Ohio

A couple of hours into reporting, Biden holds a lead in the Electoral College with 89 electoral votes to Trump’s 63, and all eyes are on Ohio. In our first update, we mentioned that no republican has ever taken the presidency without winning Ohio. Prior to today, Trump was polling just ahead of Biden, and was counting on taking the state. According to FiveThirtyEight, without winning Ohio, Trump has a <1/100 chance of winning a second term. With 59% of the vote counted, Biden is in the lead by 3%, or about 130,000 votes. Trump was undoubtedly counting on taking Ohio’s 18 electoral votes in his reelection campaign. Tensions are high, as expected, this election night, and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

10:30pm 11/3:

Louisiana and South Carolina go to Trump

New Hampshire goes to Biden

Biden leads 93-80

10:40pm 11/3:

Trump is projected to take Utah, Kansas, and Nebraska-at-Large

Trump leads 95-93

10:45pm 11/3:

Trump takes Missouri

Biden takes Illinois

Biden leads 113-105

11:00pm 11/3:

Biden takes California, Oregon, and Washington

Trump takes Wyoming and Mississippi

Biden leads 187-114

11:50pm 11/3:

Trump wins Idaho

Biden wins New Mexico

Biden leads 192-118

12:05am 11/4:

Trump takes Ohio

Biden takes Virginia

Biden leads 205-136

12:45am 11/4:

Trump takes Florida

Biden leads 205-165

1:45am 11/4:

Trump takes Iowa, Texas, and Montana

Biden takes Rhode Island and Minnesota

Biden maintains his lead, 220-213

2:50am 11/4:

The Electoral College has not shifted significantly in either direction, but President Trump has declared victory in his reelection campaign from the White House. This election is far from over, with several states not expecting to declare a winner until later in the week, possibly as late as Friday.

Biden takes one more electoral vote in Maine. Maine’s other 3 votes remain undecided.

Biden holds his lead 221-213

5:30am 11/4:

As we continue to wait for results in several key states, Biden takes Hawaii

Biden leads 225-213

6:25am 11/4:

Vote totals continue to come in, as officials in several states return to counting early this morning. There are still many votes to be counted, and results will likely continue to come in throughout the day.

7:55am 11/4:

As the day continues, the divide between the two candidates is narrowing in several key states. Michigan is expecting to have a full report at some point today, but it is unclear when we will get results in some other states.

Biden continues to lead, 225-213

12:15pm 11/4:

Biden gains two more electoral votes from Maine and keeps his lead

227-213

2:30pm 11/4:

Biden takes Wisconsin

He leads 237-213

4:19pm 11/4:

Michigan called for Biden

Biden’s lead increases, 253-213

9:05pm 11/4:

About 24 hours after most polls closed, election officials have not finished counting ballots in several key states. Going into the second night of counting ballots, Biden holds the lead in the Electoral College, as well as in Nevada and Arizona, both of which have not yet been called by ABC News. Trump leads in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alaska, but his lead has been narrowing throughout the day. Results are expected to continue coming in throughout the night and into tomorrow, and some states are not expected to have full results until Friday.

Biden leads in the Electoral College, 253-214 after Trump picked up one vote from Maine earlier today.

12:30pm 11/7:

After several days of counting votes, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, winning 290 votes of the 270 needed to win the Electoral College. Alaska, Georgia, and North Carolina have not been officially called yet, with President Trump in the lead in Alaska and North Carolina, and Joe Biden in the lead in Georgia.

Biden wins, 290-214. 34 electoral votes remain.

George Floyd, A Name That Will be Remembered.

George Floyd; a name that you have likely heard in the past few weeks after a graphic video went viral of four Minneapolis, Minnesota police officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes after his arrest. In the video, Floyd is seen begging for air and claiming “I can’t breath” for most of the recording. Shortly after the video was taken, Floyd was pronounced dead while in police custody on May 25, 2020. Unfortunately, this obviously isn’t the first case of racial injustice in the United States, this is merely another event in the long history of these inexcusable actions. Floyd’s family is in shambles looking for answers as to why their son’s death had to happen. They believe that the officers involved should not only be fired but charged with the murder of their loved one. 

As of 12 PM May 29, 2020, the four officers involved have been officially fired from the police department. However, they have not been charged with any criminal offense whatsoever. This lack of action by the Minnesota police chief, Minneapolis Mayor, or even Governor of Minnesota has caused outrage among people in Minneapolis. What began as peaceful protests with chants including “George Floyd” and “I Can’t Breathe”, quickly turned violent. On the evening of May 27th into the early morning of May 28th, riots and looting broke out. Thousands of people began breaking into stores and setting fire to the buildings. A precinct building in Minneapolis was targeted and burnt to the ground by rioters in the city. Fireworks have been lit off at police officers trying to quell the rebellions.

Floyd’s death has shaken our nation to the core. Vast amounts of African-American activists and everyday citizens have spoken up against the injustices that occurred in Minnesota. Celebrities have spoken up against the officers and the death of Floyd. Star basketball legend Lebron James posted on Instagram a juxtaposed picture of the officer kneeling on Floyd and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem with a caption reading  “Do you understand NOW!!??!!??” Or is it still blurred to you??” 

The President of the United States has tweeted in response to Floyd’s death and the riots in Minneapolis by saying “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” The latter half of this message was flagged by Twitter for breaking a policy against glorifying violence. Many leaders in the state of Minnesota have spoken out against President Trump’s statements claiming that the state does not need national assistance; they need to work this out among themselves in fear of riots and looting becoming worse with national interventions. This is only the start of what is likely going to be a long series of outraged individuals speaking out against the racial injustices they have faced for far too long. Names like Treyvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd should not be forgotten and thrown to the wind. 

In continuing with the main goals of The Hilltopper, our team would like to hear from you regarding George Floyd, racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement. We are always open to obtaining articles and op-eds from members of the Saint Anselm community and want to be a platform for your voices to be heard. Anyone wishing to release any writing can submit it in email to the Editor-in-Chief of the Hilttopper, Jackson Peck at jpeck339@anselm.edu or the Hilltopper’s Coordinator of Off-Campus News, Bryan Lavoie at blavoie438@anselm.edu.

Update: On May 29, 2020, the officer who was seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd has been brought into custody and charged with third-degree murder as well as manslaughter. Nothing has yet been announced regarding the other three officers involved.

Update: On June 3, 2020, the officer shown kneeling on George Floyd has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers involved have been brought into custody and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin and one of the other officers had multiple prior complaints against them while the other two had none. 

The End of Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders officially ended his second campaign for the White House on the evening of April 8 after a long and somewhat successful run. For a short period, he was the Democratic frontrunner, but he fell short in acquiring the confidence and vote of the mainstream Democratic party as he did in the 2016 campaign. This makes former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election. While the rest of the nation was focused on the coronavirus pandemic, as the only major candidate still in the race, Biden claimed major victories in the Florida, Arizona and Illinois primaries. 

Sanders can, however, claim an ideological victory. Over the course of two moderately successful presidential bids, he expanded the debate over universal healthcare and the disproportionate wealth gap in the United States. In a message to his supporters while announcing the end of his campaign he claimed that “Together we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.”

Early in the election cycle, Sanders seemed to be the perceived leader and frontrunner among the candidates. In the first three primary states – Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada – Sanders won bigger and bigger popular vote majorities and had the most delegates leaving these three contests. However, this frontrunner status was short-lived.  Biden surged in South Carolina, defeating Sanders by nearly 30 points, and other contenders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed the Vice President. This effectively left Sanders in the dust on Super Tuesday where Biden swept and carried a large, but not unsurpassable delegate victory.

Sanders’ biggest undoing in the late stages of the primary was the rapid mainstream consolidation around Biden after his rebound in South Carolina. Some would blame Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the other staunch progressive in the race who dropped out after Super Tuesday, but polling showed her votes were likely to split between Sanders and Biden regardless.

In some ways, however, Sanders did win the Democratic party’s attention. The public option is now a moderate position on healthcare, and Medicare-for-all is highly popular with Democratic voters and many sitting politicians. His focus on structural inequality and corporate influence is here to stay, especially among the young voters who were so fond of Sanders beginning in 2016.

Sanders can rest easy knowing that he successfully changed both public opinion and the Democratic insiders’ position on healthcare especially. He “wrote the damn bill” on Medicare-for-all, and now a resounding majority of Democratic voters say they support a national health insurance plan that covers everyone. His commitment to that position has pushed the rest of the party to the left.  The question for the left, now that the face of democratic socialism and this new wave of grassroots politics has fallen short of the presidency once again, is: what happens now? There are plenty of young voters who once said they were “Bernie or bust.” Will that remain the case? For the leaders of the Democratic party, they sure hope not if they want any chance to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump in November.

Soon after his announcement to end his bid for the presidency, Sanders went on to endorse Joe Biden for president. In his statement, he exclaimed that “Today, I am asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat; I’m asking every independent; I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign to support [Biden’s] candidacy, which I endorse, to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.” Bernie Sanders made clear that regardless of the major differences between himself and Joe Biden, that in the end, he believes the most important thing to do is to elect a Democratic president and push Donald Trump out of the White House in 2020. This endorsement comes as somewhat of a surprise to many. In his 2016 campaign, he was reluctant to endorse the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she secured the nomination shortly before the national convention. This change is likely rooted in the backlash he received following the 2016 election. His endorsement of Biden is important to many as it is a push for those who refused to support the democratic nominee in 2016 unless it was Sanders to move to a reconciled party to defeat Donald Trump.

This week we may have seen the end for Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate, but it may not yet be the end of his national political movement that has caused a massive following and an even larger generation of political activists.

What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the close of 2019, a vast number of cases of some unknown illness were diagnosed in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. At the present date, this disease has now spread across the globe and is being considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and all hands are on deck to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Most cases are considered mild, but health officials claim that the spread of this virus across the United States is inevitable. As the nation prepares, here are some answers to the most important questions you may have. 

What is it?

According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from a common cold to a much more serious disease infecting both humans and animals. The strain that began spreading in Wuhan, China, is related to two other coronaviruses that have had major outbreaks in the recent past,  severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

COVID-19 spreads more easily than SARS and is more closely related to other coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms. It is highly transmissible, and since cases are mild, the disease may be more widespread than current testing numbers suggest as some may not even know they are infected. People can and have been transmitting the virus before they show any symptoms.

Where has it spread in the U.S.?

As of now, every state in the United States has at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. This has led to major changes by state governments that have included shutting down borders and mandating that citizens stay in their homes. California and New York have suggested that people should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary to help minimize the spread of the disease. 

Is it fatal, and who is at risk?

Between 2 and 3 percent of reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States have been fatal according to WHO reports. Similar to other respiratory illnesses, older people and those with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk.  As with every other disease, there can be tremendous individual variation in how people respond to the virus and whether it is a serious case or not. There will be people with known risk factors who recover as well as people who develop severe cases for reasons we don’t fully understand.

How should I prepare?

Something you have likely heard of before is social distancing. This means staying at least 6 feet away from others and attempting to be in public as little as possible. Social distancing helps to limit the transmission of the disease and is most accurately represented by the graphic on the right. 

Don’t panic.  The most important thing we can all do is remain calm. COVID-19 will pass, it’s only a matter of time. As with all viruses, there are some preliminary precautions you can take. You’ve heard it before, but I will say it again: wash your hands regularly. This helps prevent you from unconsciously spreading the virus between surfaces. It is recommended that you wash for at least twenty seconds after every meal, use of the restroom, and public excursion.  Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. If you’re sick, stay home and drink lots of fluids. One common misconception surrounding the disease is that wearing a mask will prevent you from contracting it. This is untrue. You should only be wearing a mask if you are a medical professional or are showing any symptoms. This myth can create shortages for those who need the masks and other medical supplies necessary to treat sick individuals. Lastly, don’t touch your face. Touching your eyes, nose, and mouth allows the virus to enter your system more easily, so avoid doing so when you can.

When will it end?

It is impossible to truly predict when this pandemic will end. It could follow similar patterns to other flu-like diseases and slow down during the summer months in the northern hemisphere and pick up in the south. COVID-19 will spread, but keeping safe and healthy should be our first priority.