AY 2020-21, Issue XI | November 14, 2020
Crowd gathers in downtown D.C. after organizations project Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States.
Kelsey Carolan/The Eagle
This is the latest edition of our newsletter covering our work from Nov. 7 to Nov. 13. To read any of these stories and more, check out our website or our coronavirus website, which covers news related to the pandemic. 

By: Isabel Wolff
We have been publishing articles from our virtual print edition on our website. You can also read any of these stories and more in our virtual print edition here.  

  • Women of color are speaking out about the issues they faced while involved in majority-white sororities and fraternities on campus, after allegations of racism, colorism and sexual assault in AU's social Greek life community that surfaced this summer. 

  • Columnist Kayla Kelly writes: "What seems to be a trend for many universities is providing the bare minimum for students to add onto their diversity quota and avoid seeming negligent, rather than providing efficient accommodation and access. In order to receive top-notch service from AU, it seems as though students must have thousands of dollars laying around in their bank accounts and personal savings."

  • In March, the school cut the Club Sports spring season short and sent the student body home. After months of no plans and no fall season later, students on those 28 teams are still uncertain about the immediate future of club sports.

  • “So much of being a curator is being in artists’ studios and seeing work in-person, in real-time.” This year, museum curators have risen to the challenge of creating virtual exhibitions and projects for online viewing.

  • Ben Morse wrote a sports feature about junior Eleanor Felton, a standout swimmer and team leader for the University swim team.

  • SCENES THAT STICK on “The Last Five Years”: "It’s moments like these that are able to tap into the viewer's deepest fears — being left behind like a half-hearted mistake, or leaving one’s other half behind in the first place."

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: “This pandemic proves that such a budget structure is detrimental not only in the long-term, but in short-term emergencies as well.” 

The Eagle Explains: As we look toward the future, we encourage your support
By: Sophie Austin, Editor-in-Chief

In the decades since The Eagle's founding, student journalists at American University have covered campus activism, racist incidents and students’ reactions to presidential elections. Former Eagle Advisory Board Chairman Brett Zongker headed efforts to fundraise for The Eagle Innovation Fund beginning in 2012. This semester, The Eagle used the fund to support our work for the first time. The Eagle Innovation Fund allows us to finance digital initiatives, along with stipends for our managing editors. 
As the pandemic devastates our communities, The Eagle continues to report on how it is impacting AU students on our coronavirus website. Despite the absence of fall Patriot League athletic seasons, The Eagle’s sports team launched a podcast and continues to report on athletes’ efforts to combat racism and foster community. Our life team started a series that shares family recipes from students, along with another series that allows students to write about what their style means to them. Our copy team helps us report with conciseness and accuracy. Our editorial board opines on the events that shape the lives of AU students, while the satire team brings levity to our timelines. Our multimedia team helps us incorporate photos and graphics into our stories and is working on podcasts and video projects. Our online team makes our work more accessible to the AU community. Our news team continues to update the community on the University’s operating status for the spring semester. 
The Eagle hopes to continue to report on momentous events in the years to come, and we plan to do so with the innovation, representation and fairness that these changing times necessitate. To those who have the means to do so during these hard times, we encourage you to donate to The Eagle Innovation Fund, which we hope supports the paper’s work years beyond my tenure.

COVID-19 Update:

  • As of Nov. 9, and there have been 29 cases reported by the University for the fall semester. This is up one case from last week's reporting.

  •  “...I’m just overfilled with joy. This doesn’t mean the fight is over, it’s a step in the right direction.” The AU community reacted overwhelmingly to Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, which made him president-elect of the United States.

  • Despite the fear of lack of poll workers for the election this year, due to the coronavirus, members of the AU community of varying ages served as poll workers and assisted with campaigns for the first time, for the historic 2020 election.

  • After AU announced its plans to expand some on-campus operations in the spring, some first-year students are struggling to find housing in the District for the first time in an effort to salvage a few elements of the typical freshman experience.

  • AU released an updated draft of its 2021 campus plan, including consideration of a sound barrier along Jacobs Field, renovations to MGC and replacing Roper Hall, which was previously identified as an area where AU would provide Black affinity housing. 

  • A new fellowship gives AU graduate student Mia Owens the research opportunity to expand upon the historical context and understanding of what the lives of enslaved people were like within D.C. and the White House. 

  • AU’s Center for Advocacy and Student Equity (CASE) responded to the University’s changing learning environment by advocating for new policy adjustments.

  • The University will adopt a new portfolio of options for student evaluations, shifting from their previous singular reliance on Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs). Some of the new methods for evaluation will include teaching statements, peer assessments and annotated syllabi.

  • The University agreed to a protective order with an SIS professor who sued AU for age discrimination. The University claims she was terminated for misconduct.

  • On Oct. 29, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi from San Francisco State University spoke to students virtually at “The Palestinian Exception to Calls for Social Justice” event. The event was co-sponsored by multiple student groups and discussed activism, human rights and justice in Palestine.

  • High-end shopping areas in Friendship Heights are struggling with the recession and lack of University student shoppers, prompting discussions about redeveloping the area to become more equitable.

  • Last month, President Donald Trump and at least 34 White House staffers and contacts tested positive for COVID-19. Here's how the AU community reacted to the outbreak.

  • For our first edition of AU Style Diaries, Tasneem Osman writes about the evolution of her style, from wearing a hijab from a young age to learning how to thrift. 

  • Professor Jane Palmer sells social justice-themed masks through her Etsy shop, SewJusticeSewPeace. Popular themes for masks include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "Nevertheless she persisted,” “Vote” and Black Lives Matter. 

  • A new language museum recently opened in D.C. Planet Word features multiple galleries, including a 20-foot Speaking Willow Tree with 500 hanging speakers

  • In the first for our new series highlighting the comfort foods that remind AU students of their home and heritage, a University senior shares a family recipe for Youvetsi, a Greek lamb dish. 

  • “There's a running joke between different West African countries, like whose jollof rice is better.” In the next installment of Comfort Foods, Naomi Greengold shared the recipe for jollof, a Nigerian rice dish that connects her to her heritage and family.

  • In Dupont Circle, local artists Timoteo Murphy and Ravi Rama worked in partnership with the Dupont Circle Business Improvement District and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Art in Transit program to paint temporary barricades and beautify the neighborhood.


  • The Patriot League announced its plans for the men’s and women’s basketball winter 2021 seasons, with a 16-game schedule format, mini conferences of four to five opponents and reduced travel and overnight stays, with no team permitted to fly in between games.

  • As the AU men's basketball team creates a new identity, senior guard Jamir Harris and senior guard Stacy Beckton Jr. look towards major team success headed into the 2021 NCAA college basketball season, which has been delayed due to COVID-19.


  • Therese Wilson writes about how the University is not ready to go back to campus, by saying: "In a time where administrators have been praised for listening to scientists, permitting on-campus activities in any capacity reads as hypocritical and subversive."

  • Samantha Margot writes: “Shutting out a label that many are ready to reclaim and use as a comprehensive alternative to other umbrella terms will only have detrimental effects for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community."

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Update:

  • The Eagle has released its third DEI Update. Highlights from the report include: focus on recruiting first-year staffers in the spring semester, continued initiative to publish articles in Spanish and workshops on reporting about finances and administration.