AY 20-21, Issue IV | September 26, 2020
Angela Davis speaks with SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy
This is the latest edition of our newsletter covering our work from Sept. 19 - Sept. 25. 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
COVID Update:

  • As of Sept. 21, there have been 20 COVID-19 cases reported by the University for the fall semester. This is up from the four cases that were reported as of Sept. 14. 

The Eagle Explains: How and Why We're Covering Sports During COVID-19
By: Spencer Nusbaum, Sports Managing Editor

As much as anyone else in this world, I love talking to athletes. Everyone in the sports section does. Athletes have some of the most captivating stories on this campus, and understanding their quirky personalities, resilient storylines and frighteningly intense work ethic makes each goal, PR and pin that much more gripping. The athletes are what make the work worth it. More than anything else, we want to share that joy with you.

So we’re telling their stories from beyond the baseline. Whether Patriot League rivals have unionized, or coaches have run through gameplans via webcam, there has never been a moment like this in AU Athletics history. In some ways, our work is more important now than ever. 

It’s no secret that AU lacks a fervent sports culture. But the stories of these athletes and coaches matter. At big schools like Clemson or Florida, their stances might make national news. Not here.

When we’re on campus, we can see athletes and attend games nearly every day. We can’t reach out to student-athletes in the same way that news or life or opinion can reach out to students, because interview requests go through the athletic department. Our job, now and always, is to listen.

We’re at the behest of social media platforms, the athletic department and eureka moments to find interesting stories. So yeah, it sucks. But there are important stories from our section every single day. When the games come back, we will be ready.

As for our incredible fall staff — Alec Branch, Lee Clarke, Zeke Cohen, Madison DeFrancesco, Cameron Fisher, Jon Kolodny, Ben Morse, Noah Tanen and myself — we’re here, right now.


  • In an email sent to the AU community on Monday, President Sylvia Burwell announced that University employees earning over $40,000 annually will take a five-day furlough between November and March. 

  • On Sept. 10, former presidential candidate Julián Castro spoke with University students at a virtual event about voting, advocacy and the future. The event was hosted by the Sine Institute, Kennedy Political Union, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Latinx and American Student Organization. 

  • For the first installment of KPU’s new Black Lives Matter speaker series, renowned political activist and justice advocate Angela Davis spoke to students about activism, racism, and reform.

  • Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour will join the Kennedy Political Union for a virtual event on Oct. 1.

  • A study by the American University Black Swing Voter Project found differences in the level of trust in the political establishment between young Black voters and older Black voters. Twenty-nine percent of young voters said they are “definitely” motivated to vote, compared to 78 percent of older voters.

  • The American University Black Student Union, AU Black Girls Vote and the AU NAACP started a petition urging AU to extend the pass/fail option for courses for the duration of the fall semester, garnering over 1,000 signatures since Aug. 24. 


  • Sept. 19 was National Dance Day, and Stephanie Mirah spoke to dancers in the AU Dance Team, American Bhangra Crew, AU Dance Company and AU In Motion about how dance has defined their lives, from their childhood to the present as COVID-19 alters the dance world. 

  • Junior Grace Hasson recently published “Into the Orange Grove,” a book of poetry that reflects her life and also has elements of fantasy and mythology.

  • During the pandemic, students have turned crafting hobbies into businesses through the use of online shops like Etsy.

  • Continuing our countdown of the top 10 AU sports moments of the decade, next are moments seven and eight: the 2013 volleyball team’s entrance to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the 2016 men’s soccer team earning their best-ever conference record. 

  • Sports Column: Week 2 was a necessary tempering of expectation for Washington Football fans. 


  • Georgina DiNardo wrote: “As the semester continues on, the strain of pressure that work puts on the average college student can be detrimental. AU must concentrate on the well-being of their students and help them through current disabilities.”

  • In our latest Staff Editorial, The Eagle wrote: “Especially with a 10 percent tuition reduction, the University budget inevitably experiences strain. It would seem that the University has taken a bad situation, and done its best to minimize harm.”

  • Satire: The Seagle wrote about the infamous Wonk Cat, saying: "After American University announced its decision to conduct classes exclusively online, AU’s only feline resident decided to take a semester off to do something she had always dreamed of: backpack through Europe."