Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic: Eyes on the Maryland General Assembly

The use of opioids and opioid-use fatalities have increased drastically over the five years in Maryland and across the country. In Maryland, heroin and Fentanyl are two of the most abused opioids. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine and Fentanyl is a synthetic and cheap opioid, which is 40 to 50 times stronger than street-level heroin. Preliminary counts by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) report that there were 918 fatal heroin overdoses in Maryland from January- September of 2016, doubling from the previous year. During that same period there were 738 fatal Fentanyl overdoses, quadrupling from the previous year.

In 2015, Governor Hogan launched the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force to develop policy, prevention, treatment, and enforcement recommendations to combat the growing epidemic. These recommendations established the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, created county-level heroin coordinators that work with law enforcement, and more.

These programs were essential in legitimizing the problem and strategically combating the growing epidemic. However, the use of heroin and other synthetic opioids is still on the rise in Maryland, indicating the need for new strategic policies.

In January 2017, Governor Hogan announced the 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative, a “multi-pronged” approach to addressing Maryland’s ongoing epidemic. This new initiative provides funding for the coordination of efforts between state and local governments and proposes three pieces of legislation: the Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act, the Prescriber Limits Act, and the Overdose Prevention Act.  

The Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act creates a new felony charge for those who distribute opioids that cause the death of another. If violated, this felony is punishable with up to 30 years in prison.

The Prescriber Limits Act would limit the duration of prescription opioids prescribed to a 7-day supply, with exceptions for those undergoing cancer treatment, a terminal illness, or treatment for a substance-related disorder. This legislation is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many heroin users start their addictions by stealing prescription drugs from family members and then they progress to heroin. This legislation attempts to stop the initial use of prescription drugs.   

The Overdose Prevention Act will create local fatality review teams to review data on drug use and fatal drug use in order to provide recommendations on prevention strategies, naloxone prescriptions (a drug that restores the breathing of an individual who has overdosed), etc.

Delegates and Senators of the Maryland General Assembly have also proposed legislation concerning naloxone access, the sale of prescription drugs in lockable containers, the creation of safe-consumption facilities for opioid users, the establishment of substance use treatment facilities in hospitals, improved opioid education programs, and more.

The legislative session began in January and most of these bills will have their first committee hearings in the next few weeks. From there bills will receive reports from committees, votes in their respective houses, amendments, pass to the next house, and continue until the final version is voted on by each chamber, the bill is withdrawn, or the bill simply dies. See a bill you support or have concerns about? Reach out to your local Delegate or Senator!   

Peer Health Educators Present Sex Week 2017

Condoms, lube, organic lollipops, games, free stuff, lectures, and more?! What’s not to love at St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s sex week? Sex Week was held the week of Feb. 13, and was a fun and educational program that is hosted by The Wellness Center’s Peer Health Educators every year. According to the Facebook event, Sex Week was “dedicated to promoting safe and healthy sexual activity.” There were workshops, games, lots of free stuff and, as promised, it helps to end some of the stigma surrounding discussions about sex.

The first night’s workshop was the anatomy workshop, where we were greeted by lots of smiling Peer Health Educators, ready to teach us all about the penis and the vagina! We learned what parts of our anatomy were what, through the use of a do it yourself diagram of a man and a woman, that was filled in using a very helpful word bank. This helped enable the better understanding of our bodies, and the names for everything ‘down there’.

Afterwards there was a rousing (or arousing) game of Jeopardy, consisting of categories such as “Vulva,” “Penis,” and “Orgasm.” Through this educational but fun game, we as a group were able to dispel myths about the hymen, figure out which part of the penis is most pleasurable when touched, the average penis size, and the fact that the clitoris has about double the amount of nerve endings that the penis has!

There was also an emphasis put on the idea that you need to be communicating with any and all partners to figure out what they like most, because not everyone enjoys the same thing. Sex relies very heavily on constant, thorough communication in order to make it wonderful.

Overall, Sex Week 2017 was another great event hosted in order to normalize and destigmatize the conversation surrounding sex. There was a lecture each night, including things like “Diversity of Gender,” “Trivia Night,” Associate Professor of Philosophy Sybol Anderson’s “Healthy Relationships,” and lastly a talk by Al Vernacchio called “Sex as a Tool for Social Justice.”

This event was another effort to promote healthy and safe sexual activity, while also taking the pressure off these topics, which may be uncomfortable for some to discuss. Plus, Sex Week tabled outside the Great Room during lunch, where interested students could pick up free Valentine’s Condoms, pamphlets on how to properly put on a condom, and all sorts of other cool stuff. Who doesn’t love safe sex and free candy?!

 

SMCM Summer Programs

Programs for Summer 2017 offered by or through SMCM range from on-campus research to study abroad tours in Thailand and South Africa. Here’s a quick survey of opportunities for the summer months.

  1. St. Mary’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Directed by Dr. Liz Leininger, Dr. Katie Gantz, and Dr. Christine Wooley, spend eight-weeks partnering with a faculty member to create your own scholarly or creative work. Participants get a $3,000 stipend, a budget for their project if needed, meals, and housing as they craft their final presentation, which is presented at the SURF Symposium on July 7th as well as potentially shared with the community at large during the following school year. SURF’s scholarly outcomes include numerous publications featuring undergraduate student research. The program’s website is https://sites.google.com/smcm.edu/surf-smcm/home.

2. The Washington Program

Run by political science professors Shafqat and Fehrs, the Washington Program places students on Capitol Hill, with a federal agency, or with a think tank depending on the applicant’s preferences. Student résumés and cover letters are refined through the Career Center and submitted to their desired workplace. Learn more at http://www.smcm.edu/washingtonprogram/.

3. South Africa Summer Study Tour

This study abroad experience places students at Stellenbosch University and runs from July 8 to Dec. 3. Stellenbosch is situated in the mountains of Stellenbosch, South Africa close to Cape Town and Table Mountain. There’s an optional service learning course in which students learn about eradicating poverty and volunteer at a farm school. Applications are due March 1. More info at http://www.smcm.edu/ie/programs/africa/smcm-cis-stellenbosch-south-africa/.

4. Thailand Study Tour

The Thailand study tour is run by professors John Schroeder and Bradley Park from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and runs from May 14 to June 3, including trips to Bangkok, Nakhom Pathom, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Ko Samet. Students will, “explore traditional and contemporary Buddhist views on the relationships between Buddhist wisdom and social justice.” Highlights include meeting the first fully ordained woman monastic in Thai Buddhism, Burmese monks, an elephant trek, and visiting refugee camps. It counts as an upper division course in Philosophy and Religious Studies. More info at http://www.smcm.edu/ie/programs/asia-oceania/thailand-study-tour/.

5. Bahamas Project Dolphin Study Tour

Led by psychology professors Dr. Daisy Kaplan and Dr. Aileen Bailey, this study tour is cross listed as Psych 315/ Biol 380/ Enst 395 and consists of a lecture at SMCM and a 12-day trip to the Bahamas with daily lectures and boat excursions to observe and research dolphin behavior. The trip runs from May 15-26. More info at http://www.smcm.edu/ie/programs/the-americas/project-dolphin-in-the-bahamas/.

 

Trump Holds First Press Conference

President Trump hosted his first independent press conference on Feb. 16, 2017. It took an hour and fifteen minutes, during which Trump answered questions about media coverage of his campaign, responded to criticism of his performance thus far, explained his plan for jobs, military spending, and the wall. He also reiterated the qualifications of his supreme court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, and announced his pick for secretary of labor secretary, Alexander Acosta.

President Trump’s monologue was prefaced with an assertion of his intentions. He began by stating that he going “to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my inauguration.” Trump continued “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.” He accused former President Barack Obama of leaving a “mess.” The current President remarked “I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess.”

Trump continued his speech to elaborate on his plans for “draining the swamp,” repealing and replacing the Affordable Care act, and fair trade. His remarks closed by stating “God Bless America, and let’s take some questions.”

Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, was the topic of the first inquiry. Trump defended his decision to ask for Flynn’s resignation, then pivoted on the question to accuse The New York Times of “failing.”  

What Trump deemed as “Fake News” then became the subject of discussion. About CNN, Trump said that “I’m not OK when [news] is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.” He accused The Wall Street Journal of printing a front page story which was “not true.” Trump labelled the entire press as dishonest. “I’ve never seen more dishonest media.” During the press conference, Trump said that he expected the media to deem the event to be him “ranting and raving,” an accusation that he denied.

Coverage of the exchange between Trump and reporters was labelled as out of the ordinary. CNN described it as “an extraordinary denunciation […] of his critics” and an “amazing moment in history.” The Washington Post deemed it “combative, [and] grievance-filled.” Exchanges that were highlighted for being strange include a moment where President Trump asked if April Ryan, an African-American reporter, could “set up a meeting” between him and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The exchange between Ryan, a reporter with the Urban Radio Networks in Baltimore City, and the President of the United States was deemed “notably offensive” by former National Security Advisor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings stated in regards to Trump’s comments that “I think a lot of people assume that all black people know all black people.”

Another notable exchange was the debate between a reporter and Trump about the margin of his electoral college. Trump claimed that he had the largest margin of victory since Reagan. Peter Alexander from NBC News tried to fact check Trump on this claim in real time, explaining to Trump that Obama in 2008 and George H.W. Bush in 1988 both had more substantial victories. It should be noted that Bill Clinton also surpassed Trump’s 304 (due to 2 ‘faithless’ electors’) votes. Trump defended himself, stating that he was “given the information.” The tense exchange led CNN to publish an article titled “Trump falsely claims (again) biggest electoral college victory since Reagan.”

As The Atlantic reports, conservative media pundits such as Glenn Beck and Michael Godwin described the press conferences differently compared to synopses from CNN, The New York Times, or The Washington Post. Beck called the conference “masterful,” praising Trump’s ability to talk in an unscripted manner. Godwin regarded “His [Trump’s] performance at a marathon press conference was a must-see-tv spectacle as he [Trump] mixed serious policy talk with stand-up comedy and took repeated pleasure in whacking his favorite pinata, the ‘dishonest media.’”

These remarks furthered the divide between President Trump and the media. In the past month, Steve Bannon has called the media “the opposition party” and urged them to “be quiet.” As evidenced by the confrontational headlines, news organizations have begun fighting back. Chairman of The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Sandra Mims Rowe, accused the current administration’s attitudes of being a threat to press freedom. She claimed “Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. On October 6, CPJ’s board of directors passed a resolution declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.”

C-SPAN has the full video and transcript of the conference online titled “President Trump News Conference.”

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Resigns

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned from his post on Feb. 12 amid allegations that he held a phone call with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before President Trump’s inauguration. The phone call between Flynn and the ambassador featured a discussion about the sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama. The sanctions were a response to the belief that interference on behalf of Russian officials took place in the 2016 presidential election. The response of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was to declare an official suggestion to President Putin to condemn 35 United States officials currently based in Russia as “persona non-grata.” President Putin did not respond to the sanctions imposed by the United States.

The issue of exactly what was discussed on the phone call between General Flynn and the ambassador was asked in a press conference held by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  Spicer remained adamant in the fact that sanctions were not discussed and the conversation was a “logistical” one.  Spicer was not the only member of the new administration who went on record denying that sanctions were part of the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence on both “Face of the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday” stated that he could “confirm” that the conversations General Flynn participated in at the time then-President Obama elected to impose sanctions on Russia did not regard the actions of the current administration. A third high profile member of the incoming administration, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus also denied on “Meet the Press” that in speaking to General Flynn the subject of Sanctions was not part of the phone call with the Russian Ambassador.

On Jan. 23, the first official White House briefing was held, and Press Secretary Spicer once again remained firm in the fact that only a single conversation took place and the issue of newly imposed sanctions were not a part of the exchange.  On Jan. 26, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates revealed to White House Counsel that despite denial on General Flynn’s behalf, intelligence agencies had determined that sanctions had indeed been discussed in the conversation between Flynn and the ambassador. During this period, specifically Jan. 24, the FBI interviewed Flynn in regard to the topic of the conversation. During the interview, Flynn denied discussing sanctions, an action that is felonious. It was later revealed that Flynn mislead White House officials. The decision of whether or not to prosecute Flynn rests with the Justice Department. President Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation on Feb. 13, as not only legal issues would prevent Flynn from carrying out his duties, but also the threat of blackmail was present at the time the call was mischaracterized by Vice President Pence on national television.  

President Trump stated in a news conference on Feb. 16 that Flynn had not been mistaken in engaging in a dialogue with the Russian Envoy.

Companies Combat Immigration Ban

As a response to the immigration ban signed on President Trump’s first day in office banning immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the U.S., nearly 100  companies have filed a legal document expressing the detrimental effect the executive order has on their business. The legal motion came in the form of an amicus brief, a document that can be filed by non-litigants in appellate court cases. This type of legal motion typically indicates that the group that took legal action has a vested interest in the outcome of the court case. The brief educates the court in regards to additional information that may be deemed relevant when a verdict is being reached.

The brief was formally filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and included not only major technology centered companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, but also companies like Chobani and Uber. The brief claimed that the Executive Policy is a deviation from the “Fairness” and “Predictability” that has been a historic component of America’s immigration policy. The ban was stayed by Judge Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York, meaning that until the case is decided, immigrants from the affected nations can still enter the United States.

Beyond the impact the ban will have on American companies, the impact could potentially be a positive one for companies north of the border. In an open letter the group Tech Without Borders praises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s adamant stance that Canada will remain inclusive of all nationalities. The letter goes further, calling for a temporary visa to be provided to those individuals which find themselves unsure of the status of their residency in the U.S. The visa would pave the way for eventual permanent residency if the individual in question should choose to stay in Canada. Jennifer Moss, the spokesperson for Tech Without Borders, expressed that Canada is willing to welcome the individuals that are turned away by America. Despite the ongoing turmoil, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen stated the Canadian administration will first seek out clarification regarding the specifics of the United States immigration policy before issuing any visas.

America’s immigration policy has not always been as open as in recent decades. Despite often receiving praise for being a nation of immigrants, laws like the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 enforced restrictive quotas at a time when immigration from European nations was declining and immigration from regions such as Latin America was rising. It was not until the passage of the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 that these restrictive quotas were lifted.

Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates Sapphire Jubilee

Feb. 6 marked the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s 65-year reign as the rightful heir to the British throne. She was awarded the Sapphire Jubilee due to her unprecedented 65-year reign. Traditionally speaking, Royal Jubilees are held to celebrate the life and reign of a monarch as well as important periods within his or her reign. According to the official website of the Royal Family, “[Queen Elizabeth II] has had significant jubilee celebrations in 1977 (for her Silver Jubilee), 2002 (for her Golden Jubilee), and 2012 (for her Diamond Jubilee).

The Queen’s Jubilee has been well received by the public. As reported by ABC, on the Sunday prior to Feb. 6, Queen Elizabeth stopped “to greet well-wishers at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Norfolk” at her Sandringham estate.

Along with the love and attention from well-wishers, the Royal Mail has implemented a sapphire blue five-pound stamp in celebration of Elizabeth’s 65th birthday, and the Royal Mint has also implemented commemorative coins.

Also, in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth’s Sapphire Jubilee, royal salutes transpired all throughout London.

According to the Associated Press, Feb. 6 was marked with a “41-gun salute by World War I-era field guns in London’s Green Park, and another 62-round gun salute at the Tower of London.”

Additionally, the commemoration was not without music like “The Band of Royal Artillery.” The music selection included celebratory music close to the firing position as 89 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position [at Green Park]” stated the Telegraph.

However, the commemoration of royal salutes contrasted the Queen’s private and quiet withdrawal from public in her Sandringham estate located in eastern England.

As stated by the Associated Press, “[The Queen] does not celebrate the anniversary of the date she became queen, known as Ascension Day, as it is also the anniversary of her father’s death.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s father was King George VI. King George VI passed away from lung cancer on the date of Feb. 6, 1952 at the age of 56.

That same day, Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne at the age of 25.

Two days later, Queen Elizabeth spoke to the Lords of the Council for the formal proclamation of her reign.

She stated, “By the sudden death of my father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty. My heart is too full to say more to you today that I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples.”

Throughout her reign, “Queen Elizabeth II has traveled more than a million miles, visited about 120 countries and met with 12 U.S. presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. And at the age of 90, she continues to perform her royal duties, carrying out 80 public engagements in 2016” as reported by NBC.

Currently, Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest reigning British monarch. Her title as the oldest reigning monarch was signified on September 9 of 2015 as Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

St. Mary’s Post-election Political Thermometer

Many words can be used to describe President Donald Trump’s first month in office, yet “insignificant” is rarely one of them. In the last issue of The Point News, Alejandro Arias and Angela Cruz co-authored an article depicting the President’s actions over his first ten days in office. Arias stated that their 14,000-word synopsis was still not enough to cover the complete breadth of action within those initial days.

Such a vast amount of actions are sure to turn some heads, and potentially create adverse reactions. Generally, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) student body has been predominantly liberal. A community letter published by The Point News in regards to a local radio station’s take on SMCM stated that people feel “[SMCM] is nothing but a bunch of artsy fartsy freaks that live in their own little-stoned world.”

In order to provide a more substantive analysis on SMCM’s political leanings, The Point News interviewed a random assortment of students to gauge their reactions on how President Donald Trump is doing at his new job. These interviewees do not speak for the entirety of the student body, but they do provide a more in-depth understanding of some people’s attitudes towards the current administration. Those interviewed were selected at random.

The general consensus of those interviewed is that President Trump is doing a subpar job. The majority of students described his performance using either the word “terrible” or “horrible.” One student, who asked to be quoted anonymously said “Unfortunately, Trump has actually done much of what he said he would [do,] particularly when it comes to immigration […] the big exception is that he is not by any means ‘draining the swamp.’” They proceeded to cite his advisors and cabinet members as examples of Trump neglecting to “drain the swamp.”

Erica Feldezer, a Senior Art major, explained that “[Trump] is repeating history, similar to some fascist leaders in the past… I’d say he is not doing too well.” The anger towards our current administration was consistent in its presence, but not always its level. Gillian Rosenzweig-Stein, a Political Science and Public Policy major, explained that “[Trump’s performance has been] not as catastrophic as I initially believed it would be.” Rosenzweig-Stein made it very clear however that Trump was not doing a good job in her mind, “his executive orders, poor choice of cabinet members and constant overuse of twitter is worrisome.” She continued to list his interactions with foreign leaders as a concern. On the more extreme side of the spectrum Ben Derlan, a Senior Art major, exclaimed “Never before has a president been so inexperienced, thoughtless, and irreverently self-centered[…]”

According to those interviewed, the most significant actions taken thus far by President Trump are the “immigration ban”, “Executive order to defund international abortion funds”, “relationship with Russia”, “hav[ing] a VP [Mike Pence] who believes in conversion therapy for gay people”,”openly lying to [and] threatening journalists”, “actions against the environment” and “poor cabinet choices.” Feldezer expressed surprise that people were shocked by his actions, citing the fact that Trump made all the aforementioned promises during the campaign.
The overall level of participation is essentially the same as many of the interviewees expected. Carly Chase, a Junior Biology Major, told The Point News that “our outrage is showing, and I am proud.” Another student said that they expected the level of protest they have seen, stating “ [Trump] sucks.”

On the other hand, Rosenzweig-Stein found the reaction to be “different [… there have been] many more protests than I anticipated, which is good.” Maddy Gibson, a first-year Biology, and Anthropology student echo Rosenzweig-Stein’s sentiments “I didn’t expect all the protests…. There are so many good people out there who are fighting for the earth […] education, for women’s rights, and for human rights.” Gibson says that this is not about political parties anymore, “It’s about love.”

Derlan said that this election served as a “wake-up call” for him. He has always tried to be politically active, but Trump’s election has mobilized him.
Among those interviewed, no one said that they were confident in the current administration’s ability to lead this nation. One anonymous individual said that they did not feel that the country was being led in the right direction, but they stated: “I think everything will turn out alright, but certain things could use some changing.”

Looking towards the future, all of the respondents mentioned their plans to vote in the 2018 election. As Kelsey Joyce, a Sophomore Art and Philosophy double major exclaimed: “I’ll be all up in that voting booth exercising my right to vote, hopefully, take my country out of the hands of that dusty orangutan looking Cheeto.” Other reasons to vote according to the respondents included “civic duty”, “[avoiding] continu[ing] our downhill spiral,” “electing more democrats” and “[because] what else can I do???[sic].”

Student Artist Spotlight: Ben Derlan

Senior Ben Derlan is currently one of many students working on his St. Mary’s Project (SMP) at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM). As the midpoint of the semester approaches, SMP students are working on editing and refining their projects. Working closely with this semester’s art SMP advisor Carrie Patterson, Derlan is focused on finding ways to merge his interests together to create a unique art project that will present a distinctive expression of his chosen subject matter.

Derlan’s project is primarily composed of paintings; however, his interest in art is rooted in drawing and sculpture. His interest in art began with comics and cartoons when he was young. Then, in high school, his interests shifted more towards music, leaving art behind for the most part.

Art came back into the picture, however, during his time at SMCM. Derlan became interested in visual art and sculpture during a class titled “Figure Sculpture,” taught by Professor of Art Lisa Scheer. This course taught Derlan how to sculpt and also how to portray life in a unique form with clay.

The summer after his sophomore year, Derlan worked with SMURF, now called SURF, where he worked on a project based on finding sustainable lighting for Boyden Gallery. During this time, his interest in art continued to grow, and he worked on various art projects that expanded his artistic perspectives.

For his SMP, Derlan is composing various styles of paintings to create one series of images that will inform the other. Derlan is investigating how painting interacts with your body. He says that “these projects use subject matter to create and express.” His first series of images are figurative paintings inspired by artists like Francis Bacon. Derlan aims to investigate how paint works on the canvas, looking at how marks are made as well as the physical action of making marks on the canvas with the body.

His human body series also focuses on this ideal; Derlan is examining how an artist uses their body to paint, such as the act of painting a small part with your hand and watching how it becomes part of a whole abstract image. He concentrates on small details of the human body and expands the image to fit a large canvas.

The next series Derlan is including in his SMP included projecting film onto a wall, and painting the images while the film continues to move. The images are constantly moving overtop the canvas, which allows Derlan to overlay still images to create new ways to view the film.

One of the films he intends to use a video presented through a press release in the Yemen Strike. The press release states that there was a video retrieved in the strike that depicted a terrorist explaining how to make bombs. However, it was later discovered that the video was uncovered over ten years ago. After this announcement was made, the video was removed from online sources. Derlan wants to investigate the impact of the removal and deletion of images. “Once the images are deleted, they’re gone. Images can come and go, which can dramatically change how we think about politics.”

Taking this political angle in his project is not something that was intended; however the SMP is being driven by various subject matters that inform each other.

Derlan has been interested in architecture for a while because he aims to “do something good for the world and do art while doing it.” Architecture, he explains, would allow him to do something good for society while using his artistic skills. However, as a senior, he is becoming more interested in working for non-governmental organizations. He wants to work for something that will eventually “[change] our life style for the better.”

This semester, the art SMP advisor Carrie Patterson has been pushing the art students to stick to a schedule of getting work done. Derlan appreciates this guidance, saying “you get what you put in, especially for visual art.”

If you would like to learn more about his project or to schedule an open art studio visit at the Art Annex, please contact Ben at bhderlan@smcm.edu.

St. Mary’s Indoor Floor Hockey Championships

Some of the most competitive athletic action at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) can be found within the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC). This comes in the form of intramural sports that range from handball, to soccer, to volleyball. The leagues consist of men’s, women’s, and coed. Most recently, the men’s intramural floor hockey season wrapped up in a dramatic way. After a three week season, it all came down to one night of playoffs on Feb. 7, 2017. The “Ice Skeeters” finished the season in first place, and in doing so received an automatic bid to get to the championship game.

The first game of the night pitted the “XC Checkers” against “The Block”. The game was arguably one of the best of the season. After two regulation halves, and then an additional two overtime halves, the game went into shootouts. Both teams were anchored by their goalies, sophomore Patrick O’Leary (XC Checkers) and senior Max Alderman (The Block), who each played phenomenal games. Ultimately it was the XC Checkers who came out on top after the shootout round.

The XC Checkers won their second game of the night, sending them to the championship round against the Ice Skeeters. Similar to their first game of the night, the XC Checkers played another close and competitive game, but the Ice Skeeters were ready. SMCM senior Zack Haussler, a player for the Ice Skeeters, states: “We [are] a very balanced team with a high scoring offense and a [good] defense. Speed of play was definitely our strong suit as no other team could match the tempo of play.”

The XC Checkers did an admiral job matching the tempo of play, but ultimately fell short as the Ice Skeeters won the championship one to zero. The final goal was scored by junior Max Dwyer, with an assist by fellow junior Karl Maier.

SMCM students are currently already underway with their next intramural season of volleyball.