AY 2020-21, Issue XXI | March 5, 2021
Some students are living in Nebraska Hall during the spring semester for emergency housing.
Jillian O'Donohoe / The Eagle
This is the latest edition of our newsletter covering our work from Feb. 26 to March 4. To read any of these stories and more, check out our main website or our coronavirus website, which covers news related to the pandemic. 

By: Isabel Wolff (iwolff@theeagleonline.com)
The Eagle Explains: Lessons from one year of covering the coronavirus
By: Kelsey Carolan, News Managing Editors (kcarolan@theeagleonline.com)

A year ago today, I was oblivious. Oblivious about what was to come in the upcoming weeks. Just one year ago this week, The Eagle reported that students studying abroad in Italy were being sent home because of the coronavirus. The “novel” coronavirus? What harm would it really cause on the U.S., I thought as I sat in my dorm, waiting to leave for spring break. I knew we would be back in a week. I joked about the possibility of not coming back because of the pandemic, despite the rumors that spread from professors that classes would be canceled on campus for a few weeks. It didn’t seem possible that our lives could reach such a shattering and staggering halt in such a short period of time. 

One week later, I found myself typing away on Slack, calling and Zooming with our editor-in-chief and managing editors at the time and contacting AU officials. But, I wasn’t reporting on our community from D.C., I was reporting on our community from home. All of our reporters were scattered across the globe as our lives were turned upside down, but that didn’t stop us from breaking news and doing our jobs of informing the AU community. At a daily and almost hourly occurrence like clockwork, news would break -- all abroad programs were canceled, the fall semester would be online, the University was projected to lose millions of dollars, the list would go on. It was and still is a lot for us to take in. We were tired and to be quite honest, none of us processed what had happened. All we were worried about was how we were going to report remotely, accurately and quickly. Slack was now our newsroom, Zoom became our new office and Google Docs was now our lifeline for reporting stories. We live and breathe by our news budget since it is filled with many more stories each day, a result of the immense impact that the coronavirus has had on all corners of our community.

Before the coronavirus hit, I knew student newspapers were crucial to how a University functions and how students received news about their campus and community. What I didn’t fully understand was how student journalists -- including myself -- give up everything, including parts of our own mental health and grades, to inform the community and seek out stories of those that need to be heard. While national outlets covered the impact of the coronavirus on universities, we were doing the groundwork for them. Our reporters have spent the past year working tirelessly to interview students who were just sent home from abroad, who weren’t going to graduate in person, who didn’t have a home to return to, who were searching for apartments and who no longer had a job or income

Throughout all of this, it strikes me that student journalists, who are very much true journalists, are never fully given the credit they deserve. Without an independent student-run newspaper, the students who need to be heard the most, may not be, pandemic or not. The Eagle’s coverage has proved that our work is always necessary, and I am proud to lead a team that gives so much of their time and energy to inform our community.

COVID-19 Update:
  • On March 1, 10 COVID-19 cases were reported by the University for the week of Feb. 22. There have been a total of 72 cases reported for the spring semester. Nine of the previous week’s cases were reported from students living off-campus, and one case was from faculty and staff. Zero cases were reported among students living on campus. There have been more than 7,300 tests completed so far this semester, and over 1,600 tests were done last week. 


  • As the first student at AU to be in isolation housing this spring, Nick Buckley received a thermometer, a pulse oximeter, two bottles of water, two rolls of toilet paper and bedding from the University, he said. Buckley felt that this was extremely troubling.

  • Over 1,700 students have signed a petition to cancel classes during Wellness Week, citing concerns of Zoom fatigue and mental health. However, the University said it will not make any changes to its plans and that classes will proceed as scheduled.

  • As part of the University's Inclusive Excellence plan, AU’s technological systems will allow all students to specify their pronouns and the name that they wish to go by. 

  • While professors and students have adapted to many of the challenges of online learning, many hurdles still remain. Zoom fatigue, time zone differences and feelings of isolation are all still pressing issues for students. 

  • From the arts to policy, meet some of AU’s Black student activists who are committed to creating change at AU and beyond.

  • From finding a voice to creating policy, here are some of AU’s Black alumni that have paved the way. 


  • Students share their Lunar New Year traditions and how they help them connect with their culture. 

  • Club Feature: AU's Sunrise Movement chapter is mobilizing to try to make an impact in the fight against climate change. 

  • Quills and Capes, a theatre club at AU, will introduce a new playwriting mentorship program this month.

  • Thirty years after the original film, "Coming 2 America" lives up to its predecessor with exciting choreography and charismatic characters, making it a fun, feel-good celebration of Black culture.

  • The Department of Performing Arts' “The Pliant Girls” reveals the diversity of the female experience and promotes the "undeniable bond” of sisterhood.


  • Women's lacrosse fell short 9-19 to Mount St. Mary’s Saturday in its first game since March 2020.

  • Tim Fitzpatrick and Gage Curry of the AU wrestling team each finished in third place at the EIWA Championships on Feb. 26, advancing to the NCAA Championships. Despite their efforts, the team placed ninth overall at the tournament.

  • AU men's basketball senior guard Jamir Harris, freshman forward Johnny O’Neil and senior guard Stacy Beckton Jr. were all honored in the Patriot League’s postseason awards on Tuesday.


  • Staff Editorial: "Brock’s proposal as it currently stands does not live up to the serious response required by the University to call for AUPD reform."

  • Opinion: "It is my hope that this talk manifests into action, and that the administration takes steps to make Wellness Week truly restful."

  • Opinion: "I finished senior year and graduated all from the same room I’m now taking my second-semester classes in. I need a change of scenery for the sake of my mental health."