Student athlete Trill Guzman works as a trader on the Foreign Exchange Market through iMarketsLive in order to grow finances during school.
By Lenin O’Mahony
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the lifestyles of students across the country, changing how we socialize, learn, and work. However, as we all know, necessity is the mother of innovation, and this especially rings true at Saint Mary's College of California, where students are finding new and modern ways to work and stay busy during the ever constant lockdowns and stay at home orders.
For many students, in person work is either unavailable or simply too exposed and dangerous for themselves and at risk family members. For those same students however, the costs of living and the costs of obtaining an education are simply too great for unemployment to be an option. Students have car payments, book costs, housing fees, insurance, and medical bills to cover. They cannot afford to sit back on non-existent savings, which is an extremely frustrating situation to be in while facing the restrictions of living during a worldwide pandemic.
Trill Guzman, an on campus student and Division 1 rugby player for Saint Mary’s, has been working as a trader on the Foriegn Exchange Market as a way to make money while keeping busy at college. He does this alongside an education company called iMarketsLive. The goal of this company is to educate everyday people on how the Foriegn Exchange Market works, so that they can make money from their own phones.
Guzman explained to me how he works with this company on this unique market in order to gain financial freedom as a full time college student and athlete. Guzman explains the process as such, claiming, “Let’s say I want to visit England and I come with $1000. Unfortunately, I can’t use the U.S. dollar in England because they have a different currency called the Great British Pound. In order for me to purchase items and enjoy my time in England, I must change my U.S. dollar to pounds.”
Guzman continues, explaining, “So, I go to the bank in England and in return for my $1000, they give me £700(pounds). But, then I decided to come back to America and all I have is the £700(pounds) that I received from England. I then go to an American bank to convert the money. However, instead of giving me $1000 back, they give me $1,200. You were actually able to gain an additional $200. How does this work? Did the bank make a mistake and give me an extra $200? The answer is no. What actually happened was the value of the U.S. dollar had increased since the last time I used it. This is how we make money.”
Guzman works on Zoom calls through the company where small traders can imitate the trades of professionals, and through this process it's possible to learn about the market and actually make money alongside bigger traders. This process of predicting currency changes and investing based on those predictions can be a high risk, high reward situation, but it's open to anyone who would be willing to dedicate their time and energy.
“I started trading last May and since then I have been able to accumulate over 5 figures of profit in less than a year and have gained financial freedom” Guzman said.
These innovative ways to self educate, work, and live life prove that no matter how hard times get, Saint Mary’s students will continue to push forward, refusing to allow the limits the world puts on them to hold them down. We are a community of dedicated students, athletes, and Gaels, who will look to inspire and lead with courage regardless of circumstance.
Authors Note: If you have any interest in the work Trill Guzman does, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Mary’s Mission and Ministry Center Holds Prayer Observations to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Saint Mary’s community spoke on Martin Luther King’s legacy as an activist and his connection to Christianity.
By Riley Mulcahy
In remembrance of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., members of the Saint Mary’s community came together to recognize Dr King’s life through prayer on Tuesday, January 19th. Brother David Caretti led the celebration, highlighting Dr King’s faith and how his activism grew out of Dr King’s love of Jesus. The event, which consisted of three time slots during the day, began with sections of Dr King’s best-known speeches, each section running approximately twenty minutes in length. The space offered those in attendance to grapple with the intensity of Dr King’s words, through prayer, silence and sharing out of reactions to the speeches and words shared in the session.
Tuesday’s overarching theme was to assert Dr King’s faith as essential to his work as an organizer and activist. Each of the sections had a quote from Dr King to tie the conversation together. After hearing Dr King’s words, attendees read a prayer from Dr King, “Eternal God out of whose mind this great cosmic universe we bless thee. Help us to seek that which is high, noble and Good. Help us in the moment of a difficult decision. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world, a better distribution of wealth, and a brotherhood that transcends race or color.”
Dr Kathy Littles, Saint Mary’s Senior Diversity Officer, read a prayer which said, impart, that Dr King’s activism was not “limited” because of his Christian beliefs; instead, his activism was rooted in Christianity.
The first quote came from Dr King’s 1967 Christmas sermon, “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
Attendees pondered the quote, with one speaker relating Dr King’s to Black Lives Matter’s perceived misunderstanding, how Black Lives Matter’s message can be accused of wanting power and supremacy instead of equality, which has been a misconception that African Americans have struggled with for generations.
In the second session, attendees were met with another quote from Dr King from his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Given the political tension in our times, Dr King’s words are as poignant as ever. Attendees talked about the deep connotations of “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, especially with the recent events of the Washington DC riots and continued election misinformation.
Taken from a speech at an anti-war conference in Los Angeles in 1967, last session’s quote revolved around Dr King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and war in general. “It is not enough to say 'We must not wage war.' It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but the positive affirmation of peace." Dr King’s stance against Vietnam was controversial at the time of his death, which was not surprising for such a controversial historical figure. Dr Littles shared a quote from Bernice King, the daughter of Dr King, “Don’t act like everyone loved my father. He was assassinated. A 1967 poll reflected that he was one of the most hated men in America. Most hated. Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate, and may already hate, the authentic King.”
By Annika Henthorn
On January 13, 2020, Trump was impeached for “willful incitement of insurrection,” according to Politico. This charge stems from not only Trump’s tolerance of the capitol storming, driven by false claims regarding the integrity of the election, but the encouragement and justification of their actions. Intelligencer has revealed that January 26, the Senate Impeachment trial will occur and a final verdict will be determined.
Many questions arise from this trial, including if impeachment is just and legal considering he is no longer president, but a United States citizen. According to Politico, Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, disagrees by saying that the “founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office — not an inquest against private citizens.” Essentially, he believes that since Donald Trump no longer holds that position of President that the trial is unnecessary and no longer the role of the Senate to deal with.
However, a University of Texas law professor has spoken to Politico on this matter. Steve Vladeck believes that a president should not be immune to punishment just because he got voted out. This trial is to ensure that he is never in a federal position of power again. In his eyes, how would it be fair for punishments to dissolve if one simply resigned before the trial was set? This would defeat the whole purpose of holding those in office accountable for their actions.
The likelihood of Trump’s conviction this time around though seems far more likely than his first trial of impeachment. Contrary to his first trial, there is a chance that some of the Republican Senate members might join the Democrats in his conviction. For example, Mitchell McConnell was one of Trump’s strongest advocates against his impeachment during the first trial; however, this time, he is urging other Republican senators to keep an open mind. Many Republicans are not comfortable condemning Trump because despite him no longer being president, he is still very influential in the Republican party. According to Politico, Trump has even pledged to remain involved in future campaigns.
Although he still remains a force in the GOP, convicting Trump of these allegations could allow a better chance for other Republicans in the Senate to have a chance at winning the nomination in 2024. However, McConnell remains a crucial vote in this trial for if he votes to convict Trump, it is likely others will follow.
Richard Plumb will be Saint Mary's College of California's 30th president, beginning his term in July of this year.
By Victoria Vidales
On Tuesday January 12th Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, and the Christian Brothers announced that Richard Plumb had been named the 30th president of Saint Mary’s College of California. Effective on July 1, 2021, Plumb has been selected following the upcoming retirement of President James Donahue. Following a thorough presidential search process, Plumb will be the newest member of the Saint Mary’s community, welcomed by both administration, and students.
In April of last year, President Donahue announced that he would be retiring in June of 2021, following eight years of leadership at Saint Mary’s College. At the time of his announcement, Donahue spoke fondly of his opportunity as president, writing in a letter to faculty, and students that to “lead an institution of such superb academic quality, one grounded in a deeply realized Lasallian Catholic mission guided by the Christian Brothers, one dedicated to the bonds of relationship among all members of the College community—this has been the most gratifying experience of my professional life.”
After months of work from the Presidential Search Committee, made up of board members, administrators, faculty, and staff members, Plumb was selected because of his experience, ideas, and leadership qualities. In a statement sent by David R. Ford on behalf of Board Chair Kevin Nagle, and Brother Donald Johanson, FSC, Plumb has been described as having the “experience, leadership skills, and personal talents to lead [Saint Mary’s] College to even greater levels of distinction and achievement of its Lasallian mission in the decade ahead.”
Plumb is a graduate of Syracuse University, earning a BS, MS, and PHD. Beginning a teaching career at the University of Kansas, Plumb transitioned into academic leadership roles, serving at Binghamton University, and Loyola Marymount University. His most recent role was at the University of St. Thomas, a position he has held since 2014.
The Presidential Search Committee, writes that Plumb has been chosen for this leadership position because he has shown “broad experience in strategic planning, curriculum development, financial management, fundraising, capital planning, and other critical skills necessary to leverage Saint Mary’s College’s distinguished history and write the next chapter for this remarkable institution.” As a first-generation college graduate himself, Plumb has created, and led programs that reach out to first-generation college students at other universities he has worked for, and hopes to do so at Saint Mary’s.
As a new president during a unique time in history, Plumb will have challenges his predecessors have never faced. However, the Presidential Search Committee is confident that Plumb is capable of any challenge thrown his way, and will lead the Saint Mary’s community further into the future with determination, and innovation.
Donald Trump becomes first U.S. president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
By Riley Mulcahy
President Donald Trump, who has faced widespread criticism for January 6th’s capitol riots, has been impeached by the House of Representatives with an insurrection article. The House first impeached Trump on December 18th, 2019. An impeachment trial in the Senate ensued; however, a Republican led Senate voted against removal and conviction of Trump. For a president to be impeached, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must hold a vote, and the Senate must hold an impeachment trial. Critics of the impeachment have argued that the move is a way to divide Americans; however, after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, the Senate, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett less than a month after Justice Ginsberg’s death.
The Democrats have control in the House and will soon have a very slim majority in the Senate. Although the impeachment process only needed a simple majority in the House, ⅔ of the Senate would need to vote to impeach, remove and convict Trump. According to The New York Times, Mcconnell is pleased with the House’s impeachment progress, seemingly breaking ties with Trump. However, if history is any indicator, the president’s party voting for his impeachment is very rare. In President Bill Clinton’s case, five Democrats voted for his impeachment in the House while zero Democratic Senators voted to convict him.
Although it is essential to recognize the tradition of the impeachment process in both the House and the Senate, Trump’s presidency has been far from traditional. On Wednesday, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and nine other Republicans voted to impeach Trump. In a statement on Tuesday, Rep. Cheney, the third highest-ranking member in the House, announced she will be voting for impeachment, claiming “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
After a two hour debate which included arguments ranging from Madonna, Black Lives Matter, Kathy Griffin, and Antifa, the House formally charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” Calls for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would effectively remove Trump from office, has gone unanswered. Trump and Pence’s relationship has been strained over the past weeks, as Pence refused to stop the certification of votes on January 6th. In response, rioters yelled “Where’s Mike Pence” and “Hang Mike Pence” due to Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric.
In one day, President-elect Biden will be sworn in as president. Trump, whose Twitter was deactivated due to his role in the Jan 6th riots, tweeted in one of the last tweets that he will not be in attendance tomorrow. Although Biden previously stated that Trump’s appearance would be a sign of unity, Biden recently agreed it is a better idea that Trump will not be at the inauguration.
Nationwide manhunt underway for individuals that launched a domestic terror attack on the U.S. capitol. Many have been arrested.
By Annika Henthorn
On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was ambushed. Thousands of disturbing videos and photographs emerged as the events unfolded, leaving viewers wondering, how many of those who took part in such a tragic day were prosecuted?
According to the BBC, thus far only 70 people have been charged. However, officials are saying that the misdemeanor charges are simply the beginning while they look into felony cases linked to conspiracy and sedition. Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI's Washington field office, has expressed his gratitude for the public’s help, sending in over 100,000 videos and photos to help identify those who partook in the riot. The FBI is currently trying to find those involved in plotting the riot and will be charged with serious seditious activity, says the Justice Department officials. This charge can mean up to 20 years in prison. US Attorneys in Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky, and other states have vowed to charge anyone who travelled from their specific place to participate in the riot.
One of the most notorious rioters, well-known for his fur hat and horns, was identified and charged, stated by BBC. Jake Chansely is a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory, in which he believes that Trump and the military have a secret allegiance to annihilate Satan-worshipping pedophiles in the Democratic party and those in Hollywood. He also believes that COVID-19 is a hoax. These driving beliefs have led him to participate in the riots and then later charged with disorderly conduct and violent entry. His mother has told ABC that he has not eaten in a week because the detention center he has been placed in refuses to serve him organic food. Trump has continued to justify these conspiracy theorists by claiming they are just “people who love our country.”
Richard Barnett was another infamous rioter seen in Nancy Pelosi’s office according to BBC. The most famous image of him was when he was seen reclined in her chair with his feet on the desk. He was also seen outside with a picture of confidential documents he took from her desk. He has been charged with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public money, property, or records. Barnett is 60 years old and from Arkansas. He is heavily involved with groups that support gun rights and was at a “Stop the Steal” protest, which is based on the claim of election fraud.
Kevin Seefried, the man carrying the confederate flag in the capitol building, has finally been identified and charged. A colleague of his identified him, and Seefried eventually turned himself in, admitting that he usually keeps the flag outside his home in Laurel, Delaware. However, he did not attend the riot alone. His son, Hunter Seefried, also took part in the destruction that occurred at the capitol. He is accused of being one of the first to enter the capitol by breaking a window at around 2:13 PM, according to The Washington Post.
The FBI says it can be for a multitude of reasons. One being that he could run in a small circle, and those in it might be unaware of the events that unfolded and his participation in them. Another is that those that do know him might not give him away or fess up.
The riot has confirmed five deaths according to The Washington Post, and is one of the FBI’s biggest undertakings. If you or someone you know has more information on those who attended the riot, please visit this link to help. https://tips.fbi.gov/digitalmedia/aad18481a3e8f02
First Year students return to campus to begin their studies in the New Year to experience their first Jan Term semester. Although not the typical college experience, students are excited to embark on new courses.
By Lenin O’Mahony
Life on campus finally returned this past Sunday, as hundreds of students returned to their dorms, and for the majority of those students, this would be their first Jan term at Saint Mary’s College of California. Jan Term, a Saint Mary’s tradition that helps distinguish our college from others, is usually a time full of activity, fun, and maybe some chaos. Students have this opportunity to explore new topics, to branch out from their major and learn something new, something different.
These classes are often unique, fun, and lively. Not to mention, the extra free time that comes with Jan Term gives first year students time to meet more of their peers, strengthen the relationships they formed in the first semester, and fall more in love with the Moraga campus.
Alas, this is unfortunately not the experience for the class of 2024. Many students are still at home, with just 36 new first year students on campus, who were not on campus last semester. In total, around 300 students moved in on Sunday and, while this Jan term is not the typical experience, there is still a general attitude of excitement from on campus students. Despite the ups and downs, this new experience and the opportunity to still come to campus is appreciated.
I spoke with Aidan Goveas, a Saint Mary's Rugby player and future 4x National Champion (Go Gaels!) who said that despite the limitations, he still views the campus as a place for students to flourish, and while he wishes it was a normal experience, it has still been good to be here. When asked about his Jan Term class he responded that he is enjoying the style of the Jan Term class, “White Folks and Race Talk.” He has been pleased with the opportunity to meet and talk to people who he would not normally see, especially because that tends to be hard with the necessary COVID-19 restrictions.
As a D1 rugby player though, it has been more difficult. Not being able to practice, and having the entire season on the verge of being cancelled, has been frustrating to say the least. “We are staying hopeful and just praying we get the green light to play, because that's what we came here to do, to play rugby” Goveas said. The Saint Mary's rugby team is nationally ranked at 3rd in the country, easily making us one of the best teams in the nation.
Another student, Yosi Diaz, said that overall Jan Term has been pretty mellow, but it is definitely nice to be back and returning to the habits of classes and studying. Diaz is Class Chair of the Associated Students Class of 2024, so she has been very aware of how different this year is for first years. She, alongside other class Senators, has been working to plan class events and keep students on and off campus connected and involved. “Being able to keep a class identity and ensuring students feel a part of a Gael community is very important, especially since it is so easy to feel disconnected with the distancing and online classes,” Diaz said. Because of how limited interactions can be, little activities have a lot more value for Diaz and other students. Walking to Oliver Hall for meals, zoom studying, and hikes are all ways to interact and engage the small on campus community.
Overall, while this has been no normal Jan Term for students on or off campus, we are still grateful for the opportunities that have been provided. Saint Mary’s students have proven themselves to be flexible and positive when it comes to living life during a pandemic. We are happy to be back in Moraga, thanks to the hard work of the Saint Mary’s community to keep us safe, and Gaels are living the college experience as best they can.
By Riley Mulcahy
All eyes were on Georgia last Tuesday as voters decided which Party controls the Senate in two air-tight races. Incumbent senators, Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, lost to Democrat candidates Raphel Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the most expensive Senate race ever. Along with Thursday’s certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory against the outgoing President Trump, the Democrats have control in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which means it will allow Biden to pass legislation that would not be possible if the Republicans still held majority power in the Senate.
After November’s crushing Senate results for Democrats, the need for Warnock and Ossoff victories was of vital importance. In the General Election on November 3, Warnock campaigned against both Loffler and former Georgia Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia. Although Warnock won the general race with 32.90% of the vote against Loeffler’s 25.91% and Collins’ 19.95%, Georgia state law states that a runoff is triggered if a candidate does not win at least 50% of the vote.
According to Newsweek, before the runoff on Tuesday, Warnock and Ossoff’s chances of winning were slim. Although early projections had Democrats slightly in the lead, Georgia has been a reliably red state for decades until Biden’s victory in Georgia. At the beginning of Tuesday night, Ossoff and Warnock were slightly ahead of their Republican opponents, however as the night progressed it looked like it could go either way.
Although Ossoff’s victory was not declared until the next day, Warnock was able to maintain a slight lead which pulled him across the finish line. In a surprising turn of events, Warnock obtained more votes than his counterpart Ossoff, a difference of .04% — which in such a tightly contested race, could have meant Democrats would have won only one of the seats, which would mean Republicans would maintain control of the Senate.
Although Georgia is thought of as a conservative state, changing demographics and record turnout made Democratic wins possible. Stacey Abrams, the founder of Fair Fight and former Democratic Georgian Gubernatorial candidate created an unprecedented effort to drive voter turnout in Georgia, registering close to 800,000 Georgians for the general election, which helped catapult Biden’s victory in the state. Both Ossoff and Warnock performed better than Biden in many metropolitan counties, which pushed Democrats to victory both on Tuesday and in November, in large part by the efforts of Abrams. Abrams has been applauded by publications, with Vogue naming her “The Most Influential Woman in 2021.”
Republicans did not fare as well as expected mainly because of high turnout in Atlanta and surrounding counties, however, President Trump’s rhetoric is partly to blame as well. According to The New York Times, Trump called the election “invalid and illegal”, which made Georgian Republicans question the legitimacy of the election. The tweet, and The Washington Post’s reporting of Trump conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he pressured the Secretary of State to quote “find” 11,870 votes has made Republicans wary of the Democratic process. Trump’s claims of election fraud have been unproven.
As COVID-19 rages globally, a new COVID-19 variant threatens to increase infection rates.
By Annika Henthorn
From the start of COVID-19, new strains of the virus have continued to appear. The virus’ rapid spread from person to person forces the virus to mutate overtime. According to ABC, the virus usually only changes slightly in its genetic makeup. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with EyeWitness News and agreed that “this should be expected.” However, one strain can quickly dominate a region either by being the first strain experienced there or because of the dominant nature of the strain.
This new, mutant strand has quickly prevailed in Britain and South Africa, gradually making its way to Colorado and now Southern California, according to WMBF. Experts are still determining whether it should be a genuine cause for concern. However, Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, has implemented new restrictions in order to combat this pressing issue. One of which includes limited flights to and from the UK in hopes of thwarting this mysterious strain from spreading, according to ABC.
ABC has also said that this strain now makes up 60% of all cases in London. This is due to the essence of the strain and its highly infectious characteristics. Although much is still unknown about this virus, it has been determined by Time that this strain is 50-70% more contagious. Rather than one person infecting only one other person, this strain can infect up to four or five other people per infected person. Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute, argues that a travel ban would be too late at this point. With the strain already being detected in the US, it would be redundant to limit travel. Regardless of this variant strain, experts have reiterated that the vaccine should still remain effective.
The very first person reported with this new strain was a Colorado National Guardsmen. He was helping out at a nursing home that was suffering from an outbreak of COVID-19, and was possibly exposed there. It was also said that a second guardsmen might have contracted it as well. This same strain, according to WMBF, was revealed in a patient in San Diego. The patient obtaining this new strain became symptomatic on December 27 and the variant was discovered shortly after. The patient, remaining unnamed, had no history of travel.
San Diego Mayor, Todd Gloria, emphasizes that as hospitals begin to reach their maximum capacity, it is crucial people stay home and wear masks as much as possible. Despite the transmission rate on the decline, Governor Gavin Newsom warns this could quickly change with holiday gatherings, restating the vitality of staying home.
Melanie Moyer '22,