Right to the Point

Last year, The Point News began an experimental article style. Right to The Point is a rapid-fire News-in-Brief article type. Inspired by and with permission of FiveThirtyEight’s “Significant Digits,” Right to The Point aims to catch readers up with all the facts The Point News was otherwise unable to report on in our traditional format.



St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) was awarded 6th place by the Princeton Review in their “Guide to 375 Top Green Colleges.” SMCM earned a 97 out of 99 possible points for the College’s efforts towards being an exemplary environmental institution. “[At SMCM] 63 percent of energy consumption from renewable sources, [and] 115 percent of total electricity consumption through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs),” according to the SMCM Newsroom. The aforementioned “renewable sources” include geothermal heating systems and solar panels. Efforts to become energy neutral are guided by the “Climate Action Plan.”  This plan —signed by former-President Urgo in 2012— aims to have 100% of SMCM’s emissions offset by 2020. The Office of Sustainability and the incoming Sustainability Club are expected to be instrumental in these continued efforts. Read more about these efforts in the next issue of The Point News.

61 out of 48,000

SMCM professor of educational studies Angela Johnson had a paper published in September Issue of The Physics Teacher. Her paper discussed the underrepresentation of women of color in Physics and the response of collegiate faculty to address those issues. Professor Johnson writes in her paper that, “Women of color are deeply underrepresented in physics. […] 1% of graduating physics majors were Black women [between 2001 and 2012] and another 1% were Latinas; only 61 American Indian women total completed degrees in physics in those years (out of 48,000 physics majors).” Johnson told the SMCM Newsroom that she intended her paper to be of use to “any professor who wants to make their department a healthier place for women students of color.”


The number of SMCM alumnus and current students who joined together in a Facebook group to “show support for Kelly [Schroeder, longtime Director of Student Activities and Assistant Dean of Students], and send a unified message to St. Mary’s that Kelly has positively impacted and supported generations of students at St. Mary’s,” according to the description of the Facebook group. The group’s administrators continued to say, “[Schroeder] is an integral part of St. Mary’s, and we strongly disapprove of her job being jeopardized.” At an SGA student speak-out students voiced their concerns about Schroeder seemingly sudden removal from her role at the school.



From Sep. 15 to Oct. 15 SMCM celebrates Hispanic heritage month. The banners around campus —specifically near route 5 and the library—  have been switched-out to honor “historic and contemporary figures who have helped increase the awareness and impact of different cultures” according to the College. Alongside the banners, the College has offered events and food which pay homage to Hispanic heritage.


On Sept 29, Oct 26, and an undetermined date in Nov, the SMCM Career Center is hosting their annual “Bookbag to Briefcase” workshops, through a sponsorship with BB&T Bank. These events are predominantly focused on preparing seniors to join the workforce. According to promotional material for the event, “students will have the opportunity to connect students with industry experts for small group lectures on a wide variety of professional

development topics throughout the fall and spring semesters.” Interested students can find out more at http://www.smcm.edu/careercenter/bookbag-to-briefcase/


SMCM Professor Brian Gantz performed another iteration of his free piano recitals on Sept 26. As per usual, Gantz focused on the works of Frédéric Chopin. This recital was specifically centered around “the rarely heard Trois Nouvelles Etudes and the virtually unknown Fugue” according to an all-student email regarding the event. Gantz will be performing again later in the semester.  Check your email for updates.



The Maryland State Board of Election’s (the Board) voted 4-1 to adopt new online ballots of elections in the state Maryland last year. Now as a result of reports of election hacking during the 2016 election by Russians “[the Board] told lawmakers Sep. 6 that they are powerless to make those changes, and that any security changes must directly come from the legislature.” according to the Southern Maryland News Net. This is a step towards entering the debate on election security. Maryland has a long path ahead of it as it aims to enhance election security systems, which experts from both parties admit is highly flawed.

$4,004 to $60,000

Stock trading by Congressional staffers has raised questions. Politico reports this week “that some senior [congressional] aides regularly buy and sell individual stocks that present potential conflicts of interest with their work.” Politico’s prime example of this happened about a year ago. Three members of Congress sent a letter to the US Justice Department alleging that Mylan —a drug company— was violating federal law. Nine days later, the Justice Department reached a settlement that took a financial toll on Mylan. Staffers from the offices that sent the letter “dropped somewhere between $4,004 and $60,000 in Mylan stock from his and his child’s portfolios.” Such an act would be illegal if it was done by an aide in the executive.


Vice President Mike Pence spent an estimated $242,500 on his political protest in Indianapolis according to a CNN. This cost estimate comes from his usage of Air Force Two to fly from Las Vegas to Indianapolis then promptly returned to Vegas after the vice president left the NFL game as a result of player’s protesting systematic racial injustice. The Trump administration has recently been under fire for their “luxury travel” according to Axios. Former-Health and Human Services Secretary resigned in the wake a scandal having to do with air travel.

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