Protests Fill Bolivia Following President’s Resignation

Jeanine Añez, former vice president of Bolivia’s senate, stepped into the role of Interim President of Bolivia on November 12, filling the power vacuum left by the controversial resignation of long-serving president Evo Morales. She vowed to hold open elections but faces opposition from nation-wide protests denying her legitimacy. 

Morales, who became the president in 2006 and then served three consecutive terms, left office on Nov.10 following nation-wide protests over his controversial re-election. The election in question was held on Oct. 10 and an official full-count showed Morales beating his opposition by 10.56 percent, a slim margin above the 10 percent required for full victory. The results were contested by the Organization of American States (OAS), a regional oversight group that reported “clear manipulation” in the election of Morales to an unprecedented fourth term. Responding allegations of voting fraud and manipulation swept the country and nation-wide protests rose, morphing into police mutinies in some cities and resulting in several deaths. 

On the morning of Nov. 10, immediately following OAS’s report, Morales announced his intention to hold a second election. However, as protests continued and the opposition spoke out against him, he stepped down that afternoon at the strict request of General Williams Kaliman and offered a formal resignation. His Vice President and several other key officials resigned with him.

The resignation has met with both international and internal controversy. Several supporters of Morales condemned the resignation, supporting the former president in the wake of what he is calling a “coup.” Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has been one of the most vocal supporters of Morales and on Nov. 11, Mexico offered sanctuary to Morales and former key Bolivian officials. Nicaragua and Venezuela have also offered support for the former president. However, other nations have expressed alternative opinions on the president’s removal from office. President Trump called Morales’ resignation “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” while Spain warned that “ “this intervention takes us back to moments in the past history of Latin America”.

His removal from office and the resulting departure of key officials left a power vacuum that was filled on Nov. 12 by former opposition Senate leader Jeanine Áñez. The 52-year-old declared her Interim presidency with the backing of the constitution, which places her next in-line following the successive departure of high-ranking officials. She entered into her position vowing to hold another election as soon as possible. The United States and Brazil both recognized her presidency on the day she took office.

However, supporters of Morales and other discontented citizens have protested her assumption of power. One protester told the Associated Press, “We don’t want any dictators. This lady has stepped on us – that’s why we’re so mad,” and chants of “Now, civil war” were also reported. The protestors marched on to the Presidential palace in La Paz, where they clashed with riot police armed with tear gas. Meanwhile, legal supporters of Morales challenge Áñez’ authority as the country’s power-struggle continues.

 Morales remains in Mexico but has vowed to “continue the fight” while Añez faces challenges both locally and abroad. As protests continue to rage within Bolivia, the state of the country and potential future elections remain uncertain.

Chinese Discovery of Seaweed-Based Drug to Help Alzheimer’s Patients brings both Hope and Skepticism

After nearly two decades since the last treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese medical company, has released a new drug that has been proven successful treatment for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The drug is also said to help improve cognitive function. Oligomannate, which is made from marine brown algae –a type of seaweed– has been claimed to have improved cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease compared to the placebo effect in a Phase 3 trial. Benefits have reportedly been seen in patients as early as week four and are persisting throughout the entire 36 weeks of the trial. 

Oligomannate will be on the market in China by the end of the year, due to the conditional approval given by regulators. Although this drug will soon be passed, there is still much research to be done. Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals plans on developing a global Phase 3 trial in the coming years in order to make this discovery available to patients around the world. Other countries, however, are desiring more research for proof of the success of the drug. The director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Carol Routledge, remarked:, “For any potential drug to gain a stamp of approval by regulators in the UK, we’ll need to see larger trials in countries around the world to back up the evidence from China.” Routledge voiced the concern of many Alzheimer’s researchers around the world concerning the scant evidence provided by Green Valley Pharmaceuticals. Although they are aware of the dire necessity for a drug to help patients with Alzheimer’s, Routledge and other Alzheimer’s researchers recognize the necessity for a drug that has concrete evidence to help their patients regain their health. 

Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 3 million Americans each year, targets brain cells and causes them to waste away and die, causing the loss of memory, thinking, behavioral and social skills, as well as the ability to function on one’s own. Previous drugs have been designed to clean up the protein buildup in the brain. Oligomannate has been designed to strengthen the connection between brain and bacterial communities in the gut, known as the microbiome. This new development expands the field of research beyond drugs that target the buildup of protein in the brain. Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer’s Association’s chief science officer, explained that this “is the first step necessary toward a combination approach to treat Alzheimer’s dementia and all dementia.”

Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals’ next trial, which will be expanded to include sites in the United States, will have access to a more diverse population, which Carillo hopes will also allow researchers to track patients for a longer period of time in order to better comprehend the results of the drug. Phase 3 trials in Alzheimer’s typically last twice as long as the trial conducted by Green Valley in China, which ran for only nine months. Neurologist Dr. Joy Snider at Washington University in St. Louis mentioned, “We’re always excited to have a new potential treatment,” Snider said, “but I certainly would not prescribe it to my patients based on a single study or another country’s approval until we know more about it.”

Hopefully Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals is on the right track to diminish the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease with many long-term effects on both the patient and their family members. The development of a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s is long overdue, and scientists are hopeful that these results will provide enough evidence to incorporate Oligomannate in future treatment of the disease. 

Catalonian Separatism Re-Energized in Spain

On Nov. 4 as King Felipe VI rode through the colorful streets of Girona, a major city in Catalonian. Felipe was traveling to help officiate the Princess of Girona Awards. Amidst the pageantry inside the event, Catalonian nationalists surrounded the ceremony, burning pictures of Felipe and blocked the entrance.  

Felipe is a controversial figure in Spain’s eastern state of Catalonia, not just because he is the figurehead of Spain, but also because of his lackluster response to the 2017 Catalonian independence referendum. Time reports that two years ago, Felipe gave a speech urging peace in Catalonia after separatist leaders held an unsanctioned independence referendum. The Spanish government cracked down on this vote by dissolving the Catalonian regional government, arresting separatist leaders and violently dispersing protesters. To many Catalonians, Felipe’s comments added insult to injury. 

Felipe’s visit also aligns with the October sentencing of nine separatist politicians to terms of nine to thirteen years in prison, according to The New York Times. In ensuing protests and riots over 500 people have been injured in the past few months, half of whom are police officers.

In response to the decision to jail the nine over half a million people filled the streets of Barcelona in October. There have also been several attempts to block a major highway into France, the most recent occurred on Nov. 12 when 200 demonstrators shut down the highway for 15 hours. 

Despite the general unrest in Catalonia polls show that only around half of Catalonians want independence, which poses a problem for the already fractious independence parties. Quim Torra, the president of the Catalonian regional government, has stated that his separatist party is in support of another referendum.

However, the socialist-led government of Spain headed by Pedro Sánchez has no interest in a Catalonian referendum according to Reuters. After the Spanish election earlier this month when the Socialist Party failed to gain a large enough majority to form a government, it seemed as though Sánchez would form a coalition with the Catalonian separatist parties. The talks between the two blocks broke down after two weeks since Sanchez still staunchly refuses to hold an independence referendum similar to the officially sanctioned Scottish independence vote in 2014.  

Addressing Catalonian independence The Washington Post quoted Sánchez: “any solution regarding the region’s future requires ‘a wide consensus that right now doesn’t exist in Catalonia.’” The elephant in the room for these ill-fated negotiations between the separatists and socialists was the sentencing of the Catalan independence leaders and the Spanish government’s ongoing attempts to extradite other Catalan leaders who have fled to other countries in the European Union. From the beginning, a coalition between these two groups was doomed to fail. 

The conservative opposition in Spain contrasting with the Catalan separatists has called for stronger measures in the region. The Spanish government has demanded that those in the Catalan assembly distance themselves from radical separatists while conservative parties have called for direct rule over Catalonia and claim that Sánchez is too weak. With political division in Catalonia and the Spanish capital, it is unclear whether anything will come of this bout of violence in this centuries long-simmering conflict.

Protests Fill Bolivia Following President’s Resignation

Jeanine Añez, former vice president of Bolivia’s senate, stepped into the role of Interim President of Bolivia on Nov. 12, filling the power vacuum left by the controversial resignation of long-serving president Evo Morales. She vowed to hold open elections but faces opposition from nation-wide protests denying her legitimacy. 

Morales, who became the president in 2006 and then served three consecutive terms, left office on Nov.10 following nation-wide protests over his controversial re-election. The election in question was held on Oct. 10 and an official full-count showed Morales beating his opposition by 10.56 percent, a slim margin above the 10 percent required for full victory. The results were contested by the Organization of American States (OAS), a regional oversight group that reported “clear manipulation” in the election of Morales to an unprecedented fourth term. Responding to allegations of voting fraud and manipulation a wave of protests swept the country, these demonstrations led to police mutinies in some cities and resulting in several deaths. 

On the morning of Nov. 10, immediately following OAS’s report, Morales announced his intention to hold a second election. However, as protests continued and the opposition spoke out against him, he stepped down that afternoon at the strict request of General Williams Kaliman and offered a formal resignation. His vice president and several other key officials resigned with him.

The resignation has resulted in  both international and domestic disruptions.Some supporters of Morales condemned the resignation, supporting the former president in the wake of what Morales is calling a “coup.” Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has been one of the most vocal supporters of Morales and on Nov. 11, Mexico offered sanctuary to Morales and former key Bolivian officials. Nicaragua and Venezuela have also offered support for the former president. However, other nations have expressed alternative opinions on the president’s removal from office. President Trump called Morales’ resignation “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” while Spain warned that “this intervention takes us back to moments in the past history of Latin America.”

His removal from office and the resulting departure of key officials left a power vacuum that was filled on Nov. 12 by former opposition Senate leader Jeanine Áñez. The 52-year-old declared her Interim presidency with the backing of the constitution, which places her next in-line following the successive departure of high-ranking officials. She entered her position vowing to hold another election as soon as possible. The United States and Brazil both recognized her presidency on the day she took office.

However, supporters of Morales and other discontented citizens have protested her assumption of power. One protester told the Associated Press, “We don’t want any dictators. This lady has stepped on us – that’s why we’re so mad,” and chants of “Now, civil war” were also reported. The protestors marched on to the Presidential palace in La Paz, where they clashed with riot police armed with tear gas. Meanwhile, legal supporters of Morales challenge Áñez’ authority as the country’s power-struggle continues.

 Morales remains in Mexico but has vowed to “continue the fight” while Añez faces challenges both locally and abroad. As protests continue to rage within Bolivia, the state of the country and potential future elections remain uncertain.

Swim Team Dives Into A New Season 2019-2020

Seahawks dive into the start of a new swim season. The 2019-2020 swim team has completed two meets since November, and has three more months to go until the final Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship season. With a new training schedule and early morning practices, Seahawks adapt to a new team dynamic, along with 5:30 a.m. lifting practices. 

Elizabeth Johnson (‘21) a distance freestyler states that “the new training schedule can be tough, but it is paying off! I have been dropping time in my events throughout the season so far, and many other swimmers are swimming faster than they have at this point in the season historically.” Head Coach Casey Brandt reflects, “We graduated some key point scorers last year so this year has been exciting in that some of our freshman and sophomores are learning to step up and fill those roles.” Christina Bonass (‘22), a breaststroke and sprint freestyler remarks as well, “This season compared to last season is very different. Last season I was a freshman just coming in, I didn’t really know what to expect. I found that the workouts were a lot harder than what I was used to. However this season I was able to come in prepared and really put in my best effort.” 

One key moment to help during practices this year, was when Ian Crocker, a famous Olympic swimmer who swam alongside Michael Phelps, came from Texas to coach the seahawks and give them advice on strokes. 

Although the swim team may have lost a few token seniors from previous years, practices have been gearing up to train the freshmen and sophomores for future leadership roles. Bonass continues, describing training as “putting a greater emphasis on developing speed this year and we’re continuing to work on being explosive and getting out to a quick start. We’ve always been able to train to finish our races well but with the group we have this year I felt like front end speed was important.”  

Jake Rosenweig-Stein (‘22) chimes in  “practices have been going well. they are all hard but having your team there doing it to help.” Swimmers must wake up before the sun rises three times a week to put in a few miles of swimming before their 8 a.m. classes. Yes, miles. In fact, the swim team agrees, they often swim more miles in a day than walk around campus. Brandt agrees, “As far as the hardest workout, you’d probably get a different response from each kid on the team. We did do some barefoot sprints on the grass outside the pool for our 5:30 a.m. workout this past Monday. I think there was still frost on the ground so they had fun with that.”

Peter Orban (‘20), a 100 meter and 200 meter backstroker is most looking forward to having a go at the 200 back school record and improving his 100 back school record from last year.” As a senior, he has had many practices focused on his 100 and 200 pace and many opportunities to improve his flipturn underwater, however, his hardest practice is racing “100 yards or more off the blocks.”

Seahakws will compete at the Richmond invitational from on Nov. 23 and 24. Brandt will have the Seahawks rest for a few days to give a good measure on what they need to work on for the second half of the season. Johnson  states, “I am currently looking forward to our mid-season meet in Richmond where we will put on our tech-suits and see how much training has paid off so far. I think the team is prepared and we are going to do very well. But what I am most excited for is the CAC Swimming championship. It is hosted here on campus and everyone swims faster than they have all season, we all support one another and just have tons of fun competing in the sport we all love. I can’t wait to see just how well all of our training will pay off at the climax of our season.” 

Bonass concludes, “One special thing about our team that I don’t think most other teams have is friendship. Swimming is most times an individual sport, but at St. Mary’s we make it a family by supporting each other and encouraging each other. I really enjoy our team hugs.” Or, as Johnson put it, “SMCM Swimming is small, but fierce. What we lack in numbers we make up for in speed and spirit! It can be difficult to go up against larger teams in our conference, such as York and Mary Washington; however, we hold our own. You have to be there to really see it, since the scoreboard doesn’t always reflect our might.”

Although this year’s team is a small team, they do well in competition with several top 25 teams to fight against in the next couple of weeks.  Seahawks will return from Thanksgiving break with a meet on Dec. 7 at Catholic University. 

Though in a Rebuilding Year, The Washington Wizards Have Young Talent

Even though the Wizards have had a slow start to the season, the team has pieces that make the future seem promising. As of Nov. 12, the team holds a record of two and six and sits one spot away from the bottom Eastern Conference under head coach, Scott Brooks, who has been with the team since 2016.

During Brooks’ first few years at the helm of the program, the team has had an abundance of success as they showcased many contributors such as John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris, to name a few. They have advanced as far as the conference semifinals, where in the 2016-2017 season, they forced a game seven against a stacked Boston Celtics squad. However, after the injuries of star point guard John Wall and the trades of players such as Porter and Morris, the team suddenly found itself relying on many young faces that they hoped could step up to guide the squad to success.

A few of the young contributors that the squad has relied on in the season thus far have been 2019 first round draft pick Rui Hachimura, 2018 first round draft pick Troy Brown Jr. and a 2017 second round pick who stepped up greatly in Thomas Bryant. In addition to the young contributors upon whom the team is relying this season, they have the continued and steady presence of NBA all-star, Bradley Beal, who has been an integral part of the Wizards success.

According to NBA.com, Bradley Beal is leading the way for the Wizards squad so far this season as he is averaging 26.1 points per game. Recently Beal signed an extension with the Wizards for the amount of $71.8 million dollars for two years. In an article by Tim Reynolds of NBA.com he states that “ [Beal is] an elite scorer, 12th in the league last season at a career-best 25.6 points per game. And he will again be the centerpiece for a Wizards team that is without point guard John Wall for an entire season as he recovers from an Achilles injury.” When Reynolds asked Beal why he chose to sign for two more years in Washington, he asserted, “This is where I’ve been for the last seven years, going on eight… I have an opportunity to turn things around. A lot of people doubt that. I view it as a challenge.” 

Another player who the Wizards’ front office and fans have a lot of excitement for this season is 2019 first round draft pick, Rui Hachimura. He is currently averaging 13.6 points per game and is poised to continue to make an impact as the season progresses. In an interview done by Jackson Filyo of NBA.com with head coach Scott Brooks, he argued “[Hachimura is] exactly what the NBA is all about…you work hard, you dream big and you have an opportunity. With his skillset, he is only going to get better. Rui is right there with all the great players that I have ever coached.”

Finally, Brown and Bryant are two other contributors who have made an impact for the squad and will continue to do so in the future. Bryant is averaging 14.8 points per game while Brown is averaging 8.4 points per game. Both players are sure to be key contributors throughout the season and the team is sure to rely on the two young players for years to come.

While the Wizards have had a few lackluster seasons, the future is bright. They have many pieces in place who are sure to complement NBA stars such as Bradley Beal and John Wall. In the hands of new general manager, Tommy Sheppard, the team is on a track for future success that they hope to continue to develop.

After a Controversial Start to the Season, St. Mary’s Women’s Basketball Hopes to Remain a Team

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Basketball team has gotten off to a rocky start in their 2019-2020 season. The team started off their season on Nov. 9 facing off against Widener University in the One Love Seahawk Invitational at the Michael P. O’Brien Athletic Center. The team fell with a final score of 72 to 43. The team then faced off against Drew University on Sunday Nov. 10 and fell with a final score of 88 to 52. 

However, the season has consisted of more than losing. Numerous players quit before the start of the season and a few more have quit since the season has started which has left the team with barely enough players to play in a game. The team had two games that were scheduled to be played on Friday Nov. 15 and Saturday Nov. 16, but as a result of lowering numbers on the team, both of the games were cancelled. After many complaints, third-year head coach C.K. Calhoun has been placed on leave by the athletic department and the status of the season is in question.

Two players who were key contributors in the first two games of the season were Cassidy Kupchinskas (‘22) and Stephanie Howell (‘23). When asking Kupchinskas, the 5 foot 6 inch forward from Bel Air, Maryland about the season, she said that “The season thus far has been a roller coaster of emotions. The beginning of the season did not start out too bad but by our first scrimmage we had people considering quitting the team. This year one of our juniors left followed by two out of our three senior leaders leaving. After this last tournament we just played another starting junior left followed by 2 sophomore guards.” Howell had similar remarks, as she stated, “The season has been off to a rough start as we struggle to fill a roster. We lost many of our returners for different reasons and found ourselves scrambling to find players and a coaching staff.” 

Even though the team has had a tumultuous start to the season, some are still staying positive in hopes that they will be able to continue to compete this season. Howell stated, “At this point in the season, we are doing whatever we can to work towards positivity, having fun, and putting together a team to put out to have a season.” Though Kupchinskas did acknowledge that she is unaware of what the outcome will be for the rest of the season, she did say that the motto of the team throughout the season has been “united.”

Regardless of the controversy, Howell, the 5 foot 8 inch freshman who attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Montgomery County, MD, has still had a memorable start to the season. She stated, “I have met some great people and had good memories regardless. While the team has had our issues, I feel as though I have still grown as a player and a person despite the trouble, I am thankful for the opportunity to play and will make the best of the situation regardless.” 

As a result of third-year head coach C.K. Calhoun being placed on leave, coaches from the men’s basketball team have volunteered to step up and help the remaining players to complete a season. Howell wanted to recognize the coaches who have volunteered to help out the program as she says, “I would like to voice my appreciation for Coach Harney, Coach Matt and Coach Dom from the men’s basketball program for stepping up and dedicating so much of their time to helping save our season, when they did not have to. We are all very appreciative of their effort, time, and dedication when they already have so much going on outside of the women’s team already. We cannot thank them enough.”

The women’s team hopes to complete their season and continue to build off the progress that has been made. The team has a home game on Tuesday, Nov. 19 vs. Catholic University at 6pm.

Men’s Soccer Season Ends

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s soccer team saw their season come to an end with a Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) semi final loss on Nov 6. The Seahawks were defeated 3-1 by the University of Mary Washington, who they also lost to last year in the CAC Championship game. 

SMCM began the 2019 playoffs strong with a dominating 3-0 victory over Southern Virginia University (SVU) on Nov. 2. In this match, the Seahawks had numerous offensive opportunities in the first half, but struggled to find the back of the net. This changed when sophomore defender Jacob Breslauer was able to score the first goal of the game with just seconds left in the first half. The start of the second half was very similar as SMCM continued to rip off shots before junior forward Roshawn Panton put one away to increase the lead to 2-0. The Seahawks continued their offensive surge and first year forward Zach Glime put the game out of reach with a goal in the eighty-fourth minute. This came off an assist by fellow first year forward, Jack Eskay, according to SMCM Athletics. 

The Seahawks scored three goals on the day, but that does very little to show how impressive their offensive performance was. During the match they fired thirty-six total shots, with sixteen on goal. Panton led the way for SMCM with seven total shots. They additionally amassed twelve total corner kicks. This phenomenal offensive performance was coupled with an equally dominant defensive showing. The Seahawks only yielded three total shots and one corner kick from the SVU offense, according to SMCM Athletics. 

This convincing victory over SVU sent the Seahawks into their CAC semi-final matchup with tons of momentum. This momentum certainly showed in the first have of the game against Mary Washington. SMCM controlled the majority of possession in the first half and even scored the first goal of the game, in the forty-first minute. Senior Khalid Balogun sent a shot that was deflected off of Mary Wahsington’s keeper, just to be put away by Breslauer. This gave SMCM a crucial 1-0 lead. However an early penalty shot in the second half for Mary Washington quickly proved to change the course of the game. Mary Washington converted on the penalty kick, and then just a couple of minutes later scored their second goal of the half. To make matters worse for the Seahawks, they conceded a second penalty kick shortly after, which once again Mary Washington was able to capitalize on. SMCM failed to score again in the game and ultimately fell 3-1, ending their season. 

Despite the loss, the Seahawks had an extremely successful season and had a roster loaded with talent. In fact, five players were named to the All-CAC end of the year team. Seniors Balogun, Anoi Hindle, Josh McRobie, and junior Panton were all named to the first team, while senior Andrew Kalinoski was named to the second team. Balogun was also named the CAC Offensive Player of the Year. He was a four time All-CAC, including three on the first team, and also named the 2016 Rookie of the Year, according to SMCM Athletics. 

This year SMCM will graduate seniors Balogun, Hindle, Kalinoski, McRobie, Brad Moore, Patrick Paolini, Cristian Reyes and Zack Yurich.

Cross Country Wraps Up 2019 Season Under New Head Coach

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams have completed their 2019 season after competing in eight meets. The teams have turned in the first season under the new head coach, Ryan Scanlon. Despite the highs and lows that come with any sports teams throughout the season, the Seahawks have pushed through and are hanging up their spikes with the hopes that next season will bring more success. 

With vigorous training beginning directly after the end of the Fall 2018 season, the SMCM Cross Country runners ran mile after mile in preparation for the 2019 season. Coach Scanlon was hired just before training started for the 2019 season, in August 2019. He spent the 2018 season at the helm of the Varsity Girls Cross Country team at South Carroll High School in Sykesville, MD. While coaching at South Carroll, Scanlon led his team to a first place finish in the Carroll County Championships and a sixth place finish in the Maryland State Championship, which garnered him the accolade of 2018 Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year, which was awarded by the “Carroll County Times.” Scanlon is the third coach that the SMCM Cross Country program has had in the past three years. 

The new coaching style has presented some controversy among the SMCM runners throughout the season. Over the course of the season, half of the team members have quit because of the issues that have emerged with the entrance of the new coach. Runners who wish to remain anonymous claim that his coaching style is far too intense, which sparked disagreements resulting in the resignation of the team members. 

On a more positive note, the SMCM Cross Country program creates unbreakable bonds between the teammates, allowing each runner to make lifelong friends while competing in the sport that they love. Ronald Wong (‘22) explained that his favorite memories of the 2019 season are any moments involving the team. “They are like my family,” Wong stated. “I enjoyed the summer preseason before classes started the most  since the team would spend time together a lot.” This strong bond between runners makes it more possible to weather the difficulties which arose throughout the season. Similarly, Izzy Hermans (‘22) remarked, “team bonding is the best part of any season. Seeing returning friends from last year and getting to know the new freshmen is going to be my highlight every time. The docks are the best place to lie in the sun, chat, and go swimming.” 

Although the season may have just ended, there is little rest for these running Seahawks. Hermans, who has been running for twelve years, also noted that the Women’s Cross Country team has already agreed to meet up three times a week in order to stay in shape during the off-season. Aside from group runs, Hermans stated that she plans on using the pool, weight and abdominal rooms at the Michael P. O’Brien Athletic and Recreational Center. Wong, who has been running competitively for eight years, explained that his offseason will consist of running on his own time, weight lifting and participation in club sports. 

Despite the controversy and struggles which faced the running Seahawks this past season, they have pushed through and continued to demonstrate resilience and determination throughout their workouts and races. Now, they will enjoy a well-deserved break which will allow them to run their own workouts on their own time in preparation for the upcoming season. As Hermans stated, “We are looking forward to a restful off season and coming back stronger in 2020.” The Cross Country program will use this off-season to recuperate and recover, and they plan on returning next fall to make a name for themselves.

O’Rourke Leaves the Campaign Trail as the United States Prepares for the 2020 Election

On Nov. 1, 2019 one of the many democratic presidential candidates, Beto O’Rourke, announced the concession of his run in the 2020 race. With a countdown to the election now down to a year, it is inevitable for some of the candidates to drop their bids for the Democratic nomination and subsequently the presidency. Funding and enthusiasm from the country eventually dwindle for smaller, younger and inexperienced candidates if their momentum does not pick up. O’Rourke’s candidacy succumbed to these maladies. It is only a matter of time for many of the other candidates to do the same. 

O’Rourke became a favorite in the 2018 election for Senate in Texas, his home state. However, he lost the election to the incumbent, Ted Cruz. Many of his supporters pushed him towards the presidency, with the hope that since he lost the senate, maybe he was supposed to win the presidency. O’Rourke went into it even though he did not have prior experience. He continued running on his passion and authenticity front that many of his supporters loved him for. 

For the same intense passion and authenticity for the United States and its people, O’Rourke also had a lot of people who disagreed in where he placed his passion and ideas. He had lots of individuals who disliked him and knew it was only a matter of time before he dropped out of the race due to his vehement liberal views. O’Rourke was seen as more of a controversial candidate due to his radically left-leaning views.

To imagine the United States of America in a time where Beto O’Rourke is president would not be a bad life in a lot of American’s opinions though. The majority of Americans are not happy with the current presidency and it is probably safe to say that they would want almost anyone else. O’Rourke wanted to repair the divide the country is currently in and wanted to do it for everyone. In his “Thank you.” message from his announcement of dropping out of the race, O’Rourke says “I decided to run for President because I believed that I could help bring a divided country together in common cause to confront the greatest set of challenges we’ve ever faced…We knew the only way our country would live up to its promise is if everyone could stand up to be counted. We released the most ambitious voter registration and voting rights plan, one that would bring 55 million new voters into our democracy, and remove barriers for those who’ve been silenced because of their race, ethnicity or the fact that they live with a disability.” Unity was one of the biggest things that he preached, but it is something that is very tricky and hard to do when you are applying to a position to represent an entire (and very large) country when you are also very passionate about one side. 

Even though O’Rourke appeared to have good intentions, to move the country forward, his ideas are not the medicine that the country is willing to swallow just yet. On the same note, O’Rourke probably is not ready to swallow the presidency yet either. In time and experience, the country and O’Rourke might be ready for a presidency, but not yet. The only thing right now that the majority of the people in O’Rourke and the country are ready for is someone new in the Oval Office.