Saint A’s Students Travel to Concord, Boston for Women’s March

Liz Moore ’19 (left), Meg Russo ’19 (right), and Sarah Bentley ’19 (center) attend the Women’s March in Boston. (Photo courtesy of Moore)

The beginning of Donald J. Trump’s presidency spurred a wave of feminism and women-led activism that has been ongoing for over two years. In 2017, the National Women’s March captivated the minds and attention of Americans nationwide, inspiring hundreds of women to run for public office and participate in national elections. The Women’s March on Saturday, January 19, 2019, marked two years of advocating for strong women. It was a fierce declaration to protect and defend their rights, safety, communities, and health. The march aimed to raise awareness and increase understanding of women’s needs in social change and public policy, targeting issues such as health care, which is not equally accessible nor affordable for black, Hispanic, trans*, disabled, and Indigenous women.

The annual event is organized by women who work directly with impacted communities, expanding the Unity Principle established in 2017 to represent marginalized and vulnerable women. Annual marches work to encourage progression in policy priorities in ending violence against women and femmes, ending state violence, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigrant rights, reproductive rights and justice, racial justice, economic justice and worker’s rights, civil rights and liberties, disability rights, and environmental justice.

The #WomensWave swept through cities across the country, including Concord, New Hampshire and Boston, Massachusetts. Several Saint Anselm students participated in the marches, and their support for the cause was overwhelming. When The Hilltopper asked Liz Moore ’19 why she marched in Concord, she answered, “Because women are still afraid to walk alone in a city and because 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. As long as this statistic is this high, we need feminism and we need this march.”

Taylor Head ’19 supported Moore’s reasoning, saying she embraced the atmosphere where “everyone’s opinions [are] respected and celebrated at the march.” She went on to add, “I loved the environment of the women’s march and genuinely do feel like our generation is going make changes for women of those voices silenced long ago.”

When asked why she participated, Moore stated that she personally benefits from the experience: “It’s empowering to see strong, confident women (and men!) standing up for themselves and talking about the problems in our country rather than simply pushing them under the rug.”

How much can a difference can a small demonstration make? Moore answers: “Even though I’m just one person, I’m confident that my participation in the march made a difference. Each person there was just one person, but together we were a unit. A group of people standing in unity and solidarity is impactful and very powerful.”

The national movement has not only garnered intense media attention but has increased its number of supporters. Cassidy Diaz ’19, marched in Concord because of her newfound awareness about the lack of gender equality. Just a few months ago, Cassidy considered herself an “antifeminist”— her views of the world abruptly changed after taking “The History of Feminism Through Literature.” “Professor Holbrook opened my eyes to the many ways women AND men are treated unfairly just because of their gender,” says Diaz, “and this inspired me to attend the Woman’s March because I truly believe that this needs to change.”

Diaz admits she believes her impact is subtle but important nonetheless. While she says many people asked about her participation which spurred great conversation, Diaz says, “I don’t think I am really making a difference by attending these kinds of marches… I’m not usually the person to scream my views and opinions from the rooftops. But, I think the difference these marches make [is] in the people that attend them, like myself. It gave me an opportunity to educate myself further on feminism issues and the actions and lack of actions that are taking place in the world.”

Many agree the marches offer exposure to increase awareness of pressing issues. Moore hoped that by participating in the march she would mindset. “I was able to talk with and listen to women of all walks of life that wanted to make their voices heard, and I was exposed to more issues than I initially thought there were,” she says.

Her sentiment was echoed by Diaz, who said, “These marches are extremely inspiring and [it’s] encouraging to see how many people also care about the same issues you care about.”

When asked what she hopes to communicate to other women, Moore stated strongly, “I hope to communicate to other women that even if you might not feel oppressed or endangered, there are numerous women that are… Girls supporting girls is a powerful thing!” Girls supporting girls is the backbone of the marches, inviting new supporters, such as Diaz, to explore issues that beg attention.

“Even though I’m not your typical feminist and my opinions don’t exactly align with a typical feminist,’” Diaz says, “this march definitely showed me the importance of listening to other people’s opinions even if you don’t agree.” Moore, Diaz, and Head collectively agree they will be participating in future marches.

A fight for women everywhere, the Women’s March is an important part of the modern feminist movement around the country. Raising awareness and increasing representation for all women is a slow and tedious process, though women are steadily and powerfully making their voices heard—one step at a time.

Book Review: Kamala Harris Reveals the Woman Behind the Dais

While it is no secret that Kamala Harris wrote her newest book, The Truths We Hold, to lay out the case for a presidential campaign, there was no guarantee it would be a success. In fact, I read Julián Castro’s An Unlikely Journey immediately before reading Harris’ memoir. It was fine. It had cute anecdotes about his childhood and some inspiring ones about his time on the city council. It painted the odds that Castro overcame to become a credible presidential candidate just two generations after his grandmother immigrated to Texas, but it failed to craft a cohesive narrative about who Castro is.

The Truths We Hold, however, is a far more successful work of political memoir. It may not be on the level of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, but Kamala Harris does a masterful job of weaving her personal narrative into a story that emphasizes key American values and the issues facing a divided nation today. Her work as a prosecutor, a district attorney, and as California Attorney General spills off the page as she describes the issues she worked on, the challenges she faced, and the questions facing the United States in the coming years.

The book gave Harris the chance to answer questions on voters’ minds on her own terms. Doubts exist among those on the left about whether or not Harris’ career as a prosecutor is acceptable in the age of Black Lives Matter. Harris describes her decision to go into law as a prosecutor, calling on the memories of civil rights lawyers who prosecuted KKK members and the nation’s most famous attorney general, Robert Kennedy. In fact, her chapter about her time as a prosecutor is now her presidential campaign slogan: For the People. The chapter seeks to dispel the left’s criticism. She meets her critics by sharing her history of reforming the system from within.

In page after page, the real Kamala Harris emerges. Those who know her as a political figure are likely familiar with her surgical questioning of Brett Kavanaugh. The Truths We Hold goes deeper than a C-SPAN camera can in demonstrating the motivational forces that stir within this leading presidential contender. She is a daughter with a deep reverence for her mom and the wisdom she imparted. She is a stepmom – Momala – to two children that she came to through marriage but loves as her own. She has many fundamental beliefs – Medicare for All, a gentler immigration system, a fairer criminal justice system – but perhaps none are so important as her belief in Sunday family dinner, which she often prepares for her family.

Beyond the prosecutorial style of this larger-than-life politician is a deeply passionate and caring advocate on behalf of those she has been chosen to serve. Many people have long noticed Harris’ expertise as a politician, but I was among those who, at times, questioned her sincerity. Did she really believe the progressive politics she espoused? Or was it theater designed to prepare for a presidential run? It is impossible to read The Truths We Hold without seeing the sincerity with which Harris approaches this endeavor.

Whether or not Kamala Harris becomes the 46th President of the United States, her book is a must-read for any person who is intending to vote in the 2020 election.

Cover photograph by J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Russo’s Review: Give Us Back C-Shop Ranch

The replacement ranch in C-Shop just doesn’t do it for SAC’s favorite food critic. (Photo courtesy of Meg Russo ’19)

Hey, y’all! I’m back, but I’m a little unwell because one of my favorite go-to condiments at the Coffee Shop disappeared right in front of our eyes with no explanation why. Here’s what happened: I get back to campus on August 12th to start preparing for one of St A’s greatest programs, Road for Hope. As I walk around campus, I realize the Coffee Shop is under construction and not open. This made me feel uneasy because there was no email about the C-Shop being renovated, or when it was going to re-open during my early arrival on campus. Something was definitely up!

After Road for Hope, I went to the newly-renovated C-Shop and realized the ranch dressing and other famous C-Shop condiments such as the honey mustard and the zinfandel salad dressing have totally vanished from the C-Shop premises.

Betrayal, disappointment, and confusion all hit me at once as I was eating my side order of fries but had nothing to dip them in except for ketchup. There is nothing more satisfying than having C-Shop fries being dipped in the homemade C-Shop ranch.

C-Shop ranch is more than a condiment to some people. This homemade ranch is why people come to St. A’s, and it is also one of the things that bring alumni back to St. A’s. I can honestly say people look forward to having C-Shop ranch during their meals, and now that it is gone, people’s meals are not the same.

Anna Juliano ’19, a C-Shop ranch lover, is rattled and very upset because now her staple C-Shop meals are forever changed unless they bring back the homemade ranch.

If you’re a freshman reading this you might be thinking, Why is this girl going off about a condiment? Let me tell you something: Don’t knock it till you try it. The ranch in the C-Shop currently in the blue container is honestly disgusting. I tried it once thinking, Oh, maybe this will taste okay. Nope! I was so wrong. It tastes awful and does not mesh well with any of the meals I have had at school. So, then I tried it again, because I thought it might deserve a second chance, but no it was still not satisfying my expectations.

I think the thing that bothers my peers and me the most is how C-Shop ranch was taken from us and they still haven’t told the student body why it was taken or if it is coming back.

Don’t get me wrong; I still eat C-Shop especially in the pub because everyone who works there is very kind and helpful but it’s just not the same without the white condiment container that used to reside across the counter.

However, the other day I was at C-Shop when one of my friends, Laura Kane ‘19, ordered a specialty salad and the workers offered her the choice of their homemade ranch. Laura obviously said yes to this choice and then the workers also told her that C-Shop ranch is now back “on the line.” For those of you who don’t know what “on the line” is, it means that if you order a chicken ranch wrap, your wrap will contain the homemade OG ranch as the condiment because it is prepared on the wrap line.

My recommendation to anyone who wants the condiment back where it belongs would be to continue to write napkin notes saying how you want C-Shop ranch or another one of your favorite condiments to come back into your life.

C-Shop ranch now, C-Shop ranch always,

Russo’s Review: Meg’s Secret Salad Recipe

Meg Russo ’19 with her own salad recipe. Photo courtesy of Meg.

Today at lunch I decided to get an easy to-go meal: A salad! As a vegetarian, one of my main meals is a salad. I recently decided to take eggs out of my diet as I am trying to transition to becoming a vegan. Normally, I would add a hard boil egg to my salads but not anymore.

I absolutely prefer the salad bar in Davison rather than the salad plate from the Coffee Shop. The coffee shop salads really only contain iceberg lettuce, instead of romaine, kale, or spinach. The salad bar in Davison has the option to add whatever you want. The ability to create your own salad is especially helpful if you are allergic to or do not like certain vegetables. When I get a salad from Davison, I like to start by getting two big black colored bowls so I can easily shake everything together.

During lunch today, I started the base of my salad with romaine and a handful of spinach. I almost always get the question “how do you get enough protein in your diet” and the answer is actually you get more protein than you are required to consume on a meat diet. Therefore, I am getting enough protein eating my whole vegetables, chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa meals.

After the lettuce, I then proceeded to add a big scoop of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and corn. Corn was the outside factor and special guest in my salad because I have not seen corn in a long time at the salad bar! For my dressing, I used oil olive and salt and pepper to add an extra flavor. The only thing about my salad that I did not like was the avocado. The avocados were not good at Davison today as they were too squishy and appeared brown. Usually, I do love a good avocado in my salad, as it is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and it helps lower bad cholesterol.

Overall, I would have to give this salad a 9.25/10 because the bad avocado did not mix well with the rest of the vegetables.

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.

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.

Jesse McCartney Concert Met with Mixed Feelings

The end of the academic year here at Saint Anselm is traditionally marked by the annual Spring Weekend celebration, which features a variety of events that usually include a concert hosted by the Campus Activities Board. CAB recently announced that the artist for this year’s Spring Weekend Concert is Jesse McCartney, a singer-songwriter who rose to stardom in the early 2000s.

McCartney gained popularity in the early 2000s. In 2003, he released his first solo album which featured one of his most popular songs to date, “Beautiful Soul.” His career as a teen heartthrob in the 2000s further increased with his guest appearances on Disney Channel shows such as Suite Life of Zack & Cody as well as Hannah Montana. This past March, McCartney released a new single, “Better With You,” which will also appear on his upcoming album.

The announcement of Jesse McCartney as the Spring Weekend artist was met with mixed reactions from the student body. Freshman Jordan Cook is looking forward to the concert. “I’ve heard a few of his songs when I was younger. He wasn’t my favorite artist but had some hits that I definitely didn’t mind listening to on the radio. I was a little bit surprised [when they announced Jesse as the artist] but a concert is a concert so I can’t complain with it. I do think it would be a great idea to give students more say in who we choose, like in an election.”

Sophomore Emily Provencher agreed about the need to involve students in the process. “I’d definitely like to see more input from the student body,” she said, “but I understand that this can be difficult when you can’t always disclose all the information. I enjoy a great throwback like Jesse, but I’m not sure I’d choose for it to be my whole concert experience.”

Sophomore Emerald Shea was not impressed by the artist selection for Spring Weekend. “At first when I heard that Jesse would be the artist, I thought it was a joke. Then I realized it was actually going to happen.” Emerald does not plan to attend the concert, citing different taste in music as her reason for skipping out. “I’d love to see different, more popular artists coming to our college, but understand that this isn’t always possible due to budgeting and school size.”

Other students, like senior Sam Brandeis, are planning to go to the concert even though they are not pleased with the artist. Sam has never been a die-hard fan of McCartney, but he plans to attend the concert regardless of who performs. “My first reaction to hearing Jesse McCartney was the Spring Weekend Artist was ‘I hope he shows up,’” Sam said, referencing the infamous T-Pain cancellation in 2016. “I have yet to be able to see an artist perform at spring weekend, and I hope McCartney is the exception. I honestly have nothing better to do.” Like his fellow students, he wishes that student input would be taken into account more but understood that “too many suggestions create too much havoc.”

Ryan Whalen, who is currently studying abroad and won’t be at the concert had a hard time masking his displeasure with the artist selection. “My first reaction was pure joy. I was and still am so happy I am not missing out on a real spring concert.” He went on to elaborate, “I am paying to come to the school and would like to have a say or vote on the artist.” Ryan says that he has brought this complaint up before and that he has been told to join CAB. “My reply is: I did join CAB for two and a half semesters and it was as though I had no voice,” he continued. Whalen went on to explain that he felt as though he never experienced a Spring Concert at Saint Anselm, “T pain cancels, Clean Bandit’s performance was nothing more than hip swinging, and now Jessie?”

Junior Alec Flynn posted this image in the SAC 2019 Class Facebook group to protest McCartney’s concert.

Some students took to social media to express their distaste with the announcement of McCartney as the headliner for Spring Weekend. Junior Alec Flynn was one of these students, posting in the Class of 2019 Facebook group that he would be boycotting the concert and encouraged other frustrated students to do the same. “I’m abhorred,” Alec said when asked what he thought of McCartney being hired as the concert artist. When asked if he was a fan of McCartney growing up, Flynn stated, “I liked the power rangers, too, but you don’t see me walking around campus in a red jumpsuit.” Alec Flynn, like other students, expressed a desire to see more input from students in the process but admits that this would be a difficult process, “Once you do that then there are hoops to jump through. CAB would say ‘okay here is who we can afford’ then when there’s a clear front-runner or someone not half-bad they would say ‘oh well his/her music isn’t very appropriate or Anselmian’ or whatever. Bottom line is this school has messed up a spring concert for 3 years in a row now, and there seems to be no one really calling them out for it.”

Abbie Reynolds, the student in charge of the Campus Activities Board, was transparent about the process for selecting a spring artist. “CAB works with a middle agent that gives us a list of artists that are within our budget, and then we are able to take a look at the list and decide on a couple of different artists. Our middle agent will go back and see if any artists are interested in us!” She explained that there are many factors that need to be taken into account when searching for artists, such as cost and finding artists willing to perform “a clean set that will respect our Benedictine and Catholic values.”

As for the planning process, there is a Spring Weekend Committee that consists of smaller sub-committees that handle specific areas of making the whole weekend of events possible. “The spring weekend committee as a whole is for anyone that wants to be involved in planning spring weekend.” When asked about input, Reynolds explained that due to contract negotiations, it is not possible for CAB to release information prior to the signing of the contract. However, all students are welcome to attend CAB meetings to voice their opinion.

“Our meetings are always open to the whole student body and we always want to hear student input! We always have members in CAB listening to what they hear in Dav or from their friends to get a gauge of what students want,” Reynolds said.

CAB relies entirely on student volunteers for all of the events they host on campus. CAB meetings are usually held on Wednesday nights and are open for all students to attend.

In addition to the Spring Weekend Concert, on April 26 CAB will be hosting a “Found Footage Festival,” which is a comedy show built off of old VHS tapes found at yard sales and thrift stores. “It’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos, but better!” Reynolds explained. In addition to this, there will be Paint Dance Party hosted by CAB and SGA on Saturday, April 28, the night after Jesse’s concert.

Cover image from Fairmont State University.

‘Roseanne’ Revival Sweeps Nation, Including the Hilltop

Reporters and commentators were abuzz with news that the ‘Roseanne’ revival on ABC proved itself to be a ratings juggernaut, breathing life into the dying broadcast cable industry. The revival picks up twenty years after where the original ‘Roseanne’ left off. In its first run, from 1988-1997, ‘Roseanne’ was popular. It was #1 in the Nielsen ratings during its first year. TV Guide chose one of its episodes for its list of 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time when it compiled the list in 1993.

In the two decades ‘Roseanne’ was off the air, a lot changed in the television industry. More and more viewers switched from broadcast networks like ABC to other cable stations, premium stations like HBO, and eventually to online streaming services, like Netflix. The gravitation away from traditional networks like ABC is part of why the enormous success of the ‘Roseanne’ arrival has attracted national attention.

Yet, there’s another reason. The show is inherently political. Roseanne Barr, a former presidential candidate herself, plays the main character of the show and has become an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump. The show’s Conner family has long reflected the type of white working-class family that tended to support Trump and largely propelled him to victory. Many expected that the modern Conner family would again bring flyover country back into the national spotlight. It has.

The new season’s first episode brings politics to the forefront. Roseanne says she considers her sister, Jackie, dead because she voted for Hillary Clinton. Jackie later reveals she actually voted for Jill Stein because Roseanne made her doubt her support for Hillary. When Jackie shows up for dinner, she is wearing one of the famous ‘pussy hats’ that were popularized during the Women’s March. Her shirt is pink with the words “Nasty Woman” in bold lettering. At dinner, Roseanne thanks God for “making America great again” while saying grace.

Like the original broadcast, the show also confronts pressing cultural issues. Roseanne’s grandson, Mark, identifies as a man and is biologically male, but chooses to wear skirts and other clothing typically associated with women. The season’s second episode primarily deals with Mark going to school and the Conner family’s effort to support their grandson even though his feminine style is clearly outside of what they expected from a grandson.

All of the national commentary about the show’s meaning left The Hilltopper wondering a simple question: What do Saint Anselm College students make of the ‘Roseanne’ revival? Survey respondents represent a limited sample of the College and the results are not scientific, but they offer some possible answers to the question.

Of the 39 people who took the survey, 59% of respondents said they had seen or were going to watch the ‘Roseanne’ revival. Forty-one-percent of respondents said they had not seen it and were not planning on watching it. Nearly half of those who said they were going to watch it or had watched it said they liked the show’s political message and that was a motivating factor for why they saw it. One-third of those who watched it said they watched because they used to watch ‘Roseanne’ reruns while growing up.

Surprisingly, the majority of respondents who said they watched the show for its political message were Democrats. All of the Democrats who liked the show’s message identified as politically moderate. Those who identified as liberal or very liberal were significantly less likely to identify with the show’s political message, as one would expect.

For most of the Saint Anselm students who took the survey, the politics of ‘Roseanne’ did not weigh heavily on their decision to watch the show.

Given the tendency of college students to stream shows from Netflix and Hulu, it is interesting that nearly 3 in 5 Saint Anselm students turned on the television to watch the ‘Roseanne’ revival. This statistic is likely skewed. Those who took The Hilltopper’s survey likely had some kind of relationship to the show. The survey was made available on The Hilltopper’s Facebook page. Students who have gone out of their way to “like” the page in the first few days of its creation are likely more well-read on national news than the general student population.

The show was successful even in the key demographic, which includes college students. It seems natural that the show, which broke a record for being viewed within the first 72-hours of airing, would also trickle into the Saint Anselm community. Saint Anselm’s response to the show seems perfectly average.

(The picture accompanying this article was taken from Vanity Fair).