AY 2020-21, Issue X | November 7, 2020
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Heather Mongilio
This is the latest edition of our newsletter covering our work from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6. 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
Celebrating The Eagle's 95th Anniversary
By: Sophie Austin, Editor-in-Chief

Since The Eagle’s founding in 1925, the paper has come a long way. We have transitioned largely online, and we continue to cover stories that impact the AU community. This week, that meant covering the historic election that continues to play out amid a pandemic, economic hardship and a reckoning with racism. We ran a live blog on Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, updating it frequently with comments from professors, students and student leaders. We continue to dedicate our efforts to important projects, including our virtual “print” edition and a multimedia project on this year’s remote freshman experience. For those who are able to, we are asking you to donate $95 to the Eagle Innovation Fund, which helps us finance our work and provide stipends for our managing editors. As The Eagle continues to grow, we hope you can offer your support, which we greatly appreciate and do not take for granted.
AU Votes: The lead up to Election Week 2020

  • On Tuesday, we launched our Election Night Live Blog. This is where we recorded reactions to election results from the AU community and tracked results from major AU states and alumni in senatorial races. 

  • Nearly 60 AU faculty and staff members released a letter to the student body on Tuesday to express their support for students to protest after the presidential election. 

  • This election, D.C. voters made decisions on candidates and issues that will have an effect on AU students and the community. Check out this article to understand what was on the ballot in the District.

  • University students expressed their views on the historic choice of Sen. Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate. “I was a little more excited for a Biden presidency once I knew Kamala was going to be on the ticket.”

  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang spoke about the economy, parts of his 2020 Democratic primaries platform and the 2020 election at a virtual Kennedy Political Union event last week. 

  • On Oct. 14, the Women & Politics Institute hosted an event on “Gender and Generation,” discussing how gender and age impacts voting leading up to the election. 

  • From rallies to conventions, music plays a large role in political campaigns. However, year to year, artists challenge politicians over their use of music without permission. Listen to Thomas Recchio’s “Campaign Songs” playlist.
  • In an article for our print edition, Sarah Mattalian captured the stories of American University students who worked on political campaigns for this year's election.

The Eagle Explains: The Eagle's Election Night Live Blog
By: Abbie Veitch, Administrative Local News Editor

On a typical election night, The Eagle staff would gather in the newsroom around 6 p.m. with pizza ordered and coffee in hand, preparing for a long, but festive night of election coverage. We would pop into student groups’ watch parties and get interviews on the ground. However, like so many other aspects of 2020, this election night coverage was different. 

Around 20 staffers signed up via Slack for aspects of the election they wanted to cover, and we broke into four teams, with a senior staffer overseeing each group: state race updates from top states where AU students are from, reactions from professors who are experts in different areas of the election, reactions from politically minded campus groups and general reactions from the student body. 

As a fourth-year Eagle staffer, and the administrative and local news editor, I was one of the senior staffers and worked in two groups. I took on Florida and New York updates, updates on an AU professor’s senate race in Virginia and covered reactions from several campus organizations. I also ran a team meeting in the late afternoon Tuesday to debrief before polls started to close and our coverage took off.

The Eagle ran a live blog throughout the night that was updated about every twenty minutes from 8 p.m. to almost 2 a.m. As reporters finished updates and added them to their group’s Google doc, they sent a message in Slack to alert a team of 10 editors, who then jumped in to edit and add to the blog as quickly as possible. 

We went into the night knowing that we likely would not have results and emphasized that in our reporting and interviews, following only the Associated Press’s calls. We’re continuing our coverage over the next week and possibly several weeks. All the while, the results of the election unfold and D.C. continues to see protests and prepares for the possibility of dramatic civil unrest. 

Did you see our election live blog or have suggestions for continued coverage? Feel free to reach out to me at aveitch@theeagleonline.com

  • As of Nov. 2, there have been 28 COVID-19 cases reported by the University for the fall semester. This is up two cases from last week’s reporting. 

  • Since late August, the Student Health Center has tested around 2,000 students for COVID-19, averaging 50 students per day. However, some students say they've faced difficulties with Tempus, the app AU uses to view COVID-19 testing results.

  • The freshman class has been impacted greatly by the pandemic. In our multimedia project by Sarah Mattalian and Eliza Schloss, read, view and listen to their stories of their turbulent year.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward will speak about the evolution of investigative journalism with School of Communication professor Leonard Steinhorn at a Kennedy Political Union and SOC event on Nov. 12. 
  • Research resumed for faculty and students in the new Hall of Science building in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures and guidelines. 

  • University students have embraced using TikTok and its creative capabilities, even as a potential government ban looms.

  • Revolution: The AU Fashion Society reflected on gendered clothing and gender norms in fashion in 2020. “I think gender norms stop a lot of people from feeling comfortable enough to present themselves to the world as their most true and authentic self." 

  • Ken Brandt, a 1977 AU alum, has spent a large part of his life legally blind, and he said that his vision has been a rollercoaster. Read about his book "Position Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight." 

  • With postponed sports seasons and a lack of widespread access to on-campus gyms, it is harder than ever to find a reason to exercise. Still, AU students have found ways to keep themselves moving.


  • In our latest staff editorial, we wrote about the spring semester plan, ultimately saying: “The general feeling now is a simple plea, no more Zoom.” 

  • The Seagle wrote about the Netflix Original show “Emily in Paris”: "Samuels says that her experience abroad was the 'loose' inspiration for the show, and that people shouldn’t get too bogged down in the details … 'C’est la vie,' Samuels said. 'It’s like, don’t dip your baguette in my espresso, you know?'"