Philadelphia City Councilman and La Salle Alum Mark Squilla Speaks at Alma Mater


Anthony Pantalone, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Header Image credit: Philadelphia City Council

Mark Squilla, a City Councilman for Philadelphia’s 1st District and La Salle University alum, returned to his alma mater to speak to students in Dr. Foley’s State and Local Government class on Wednesday, Mar. 8. This visit included a lecture in which Councilman Squilla described his work as a member of city council, how he became involved in city politics, and the current issues facing his district and the city of Philadelphia. Following his lecture, students could ask the city councilman various questions. The 1st District, Squilla’s jurisdiction, spans from South Philadelphia all the way to Kensington and Port Richmond—typically called the “River Wards.” After studying computer science at La Salle University, Councilman Squilla would spend twenty-five years working in the Office of Pennsylvania’s Auditor General before his eventual political career. This councilman first became involved civically in Philadelphia with the restoration of a local playground in South Philly. He later would become a member of the Democratic City Committee in the late 90s. His political career in Philadelphia was elevated with an election to city council representing the 1st District in 2011—a position he has held for over eleven years. His many accomplishments include the Reading Viaduct restoration, the development of the East Passyunk Business Improvement District, and acting as the Chair of the City Council Streets Committee.

His visit to La Salle was a homecoming where this politician shared his experience and knowledge with the university’s political science students. Squilla spoke in depth about the work of his position, issues facing his particular district, and his own approach to being a public official. Within his district is Kensington—a Philly neighborhood rife with problems of drugs and crime in recent decades. This councilman understood and acknowledged the quagmire of Kensington and the myriad of issues facing people who live there. About the visit Dr. Foley said, “Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla provided the students in my State and Local Government class with very informative and valuable insights into his professional and political career and the critical issues confronting the City of Philadelphia.” 

My own interaction with Squilla illustrated his sincerity and genuine care for his constituents. I had guided the councilman from 20th Street into Hayman Hall and was able to speak to him for a few minutes before the class. Whereas many politicians attempt to emphasize the prestige of being elected, Councilman Squilla recognizes the true nature of democracy and representative politics. Politicians are employed by citizens and must always answer to their constituents instead of seeing themselves as “above” the common citizen. Squilla understands this principle and attempts to politically live by it—vowing transparency and open direct communication with those in his district. He even spends hours late each night personally responding to e-mails sent to his office. Other local politicians would never be found doing the same. Helping constituents and bettering life for his district is of utmost importance for Squilla.

Sports Commentary: Men’s Basketball in bottom half of A-10’s again 

Commentary, Sports

Enrique Carrasco, Editor 

Before reading this article, I heavily recommend reading my previous article, “Opinion: Why the Athletic Department Made the Wrong Call,” to understand the significance behind the Men’s team’s success.

If any of you are familiar with my work, you will know I am an avid hater of the Men’s Basketball program at La Salle. While I must admit that some of my comments against the team are due to a personal vendetta against the program and the Athletic Department, none of my comments nor my negativity against the basketball team have ever been misplaced. I have seen this team fail to live up to their hype for three years in a row, and I feel confident that the basketball team will continue this downward spiral long after I leave 20th and Olney. 

Because of this avid hatred, I never fell for the “Our Men’s team is actually good this year” lies that have been floating around campus all season long. I said from day one the team will continue to disappoint all season long, no matter who they bring in to coach and what second-hand talent from other schools they manage to trick into coming to La Salle. Slowly but surely, the Men’s team has continued to prove me right about my hatred for them, and I would be remiss not to admit that their failure brings me joy. 

It is hard to exactly place when the hype train for the basketball team began. Still, I believe it began around January, when the team managed to pull an enormous upset and beat Rhode Island 77-75 in overtime. The team continued to grow this hype when they managed to beat UMASS 78-77 on the road. Considering both schools’ success in previous years, these two wins were significant, and it seemed like the men’s teams might be actual contenders for the A-10 championship. But if we look at the current rankings, Rhode Island is second to last place (we lost to them during our second face off), and UMASS is only one spot above them.  After these two wins, the men’s team went on a (I must admit, somewhat impressive) 5 win streak, putting the team at the cusp of being one of the top teams in the conference. The only thing the team had to do was either defeat George Mason, Duquesne, or George Washington. This was when the school started pushing the narrative that the men’s team was good and could compete against big teams. I, however, was not convinced about their ability and told multiple people to “just wait” and assured people that “the team will fail soon enough, you just have to give them time.” 

To the surprise of very few people, the team did, in fact, fail. They failed to win against George Mason on the road, stop Duquesne from putting up 91 points at home, and failed to at least stop George Washington from putting up 92 points on them on the road. The Explorers dropped from one of the top contenders in their conference to number ten within the A-10’s, once again proving their talent is nothing more than bottom tier. If you recall the article I mentioned early, you’ll be able to remember that the Athletic Department praised the improvement of the experience for the athletes and team that remained after the Title IX fiasco. Yet, it seems that the athletic department only wanted to make the experience better for the basketball team rather than give actual funding to other teams, and the results of which can be seen in the results from not only the basketball team, but also all of our other sports. No single team that remains on campus had a winning season (none even went above .500), and the teams that are currently active are failing to produce any form of momentum or winning streaks.  The men’s team has two regular season games left, one on the road against Dayton (currently ranked 3rd in the A-10s) and their senior night against Loyola Chicago (currently ranked last in the A-10s), meaning the best record the team can finish with is 15-16 in the season, a game short of being .500 . I must admit, I would not be surprised if the men’s team managed to lose both games in the season, pushing themselves even further down in the A-10 rankings. 

Water Polo starts season with 2-2 record again


Enrique Carrasco, Editor 

Courtesy of Go Explorers

The La Salle Explorers Water Polo team started the season on the road for the second season. Last year, the Explorers faced a four-game split, three of which were at Bucknell, having to face off against Bucknell, Mercyhurst, and Saint Francis, Pa. Eventually, they faced off against nationally ranked Princeton at home. This year, the Explorers traveled up to Brown University to play in the 2023 Bruno Classic, where they faced off against host team Brown, Gannon University, Saint Francis PA, and Harvard University. 

The Explorers (NV) opened their season on the road facing off against the 25th-ranked Brown University Bears. The game was off to a hot start, with the Brown Bears winning the game-starting swim-off and quickly converting to take an early 1-0 lead over the Explorers. Sophomore attacker Francesca Co, however, refused to let the Bears take the momentum and found the back of the net for her 50th Career goal as an Explorer, an outstanding feat considering she is only in her second year at La Salle. After this, the Bears went on a 2-0 run to finish the quarter 3-1.

The Explorers came into the second quarter full of energy, with Graduate Student Center Forward Madelyn Koerper finding the back of the net after a defensive effort from the Explorers. The Explorers, however, were not able to stop the offensive might of the Bears and gave up a 5-meter penalty shot, which the Bears converted, putting the Bears in a 4-2 lead. This penalty gave the Bears the first of their goals during a 3-0 run, which was only stopped by Francesca Co right before the half, cutting the Explorer’s deficit to 6-3 heading into the half. 

The third quarter of the contest was defensively dominated, with the Explorers allowing only one goal in the quarter, while failing to convert any power plays and scoring the only goal in the quarter. The Explorer’s only goal in the quarter came from Koerper once again toward the end of the quarter. 

The Bears maintained control and momentum throughout the 4th quarter, scoring back-to-back goals, which put the Bears up 9-4. The rest of the game was predominantly defense centered, with the Explorers only allowing one more goal in the quarter. The Explorers fell 10-4 against Brown. 

The Explorers then faced off against the Gannon Golden Knights. The Explorers managed to go on a 6-0 run, only stopped by a goal from the Golden Knights toward the end of the first quarter. The second quarter only saw two total goals, both of which came from the arm of Sophomore Francesca Co, who was able to convert a five-meter penalty shot as well as finding the top corner of the cage only two minutes later. The Explorers went into the half with an 8-1 lead. 

The second half of the game was a predominantly defense-controlled game. The scoring drought ended after a goal from Junior attacker Hannah Warren, followed by Senior team Captain Shanna Zuanich who was able to find the top right corner of the goal, putting the explorers up 10-1. The Explorers won the matchup 13-3.

The Explorers then traveled to Harvard University, where they faced off against ST. Francis PA, whom they defeated 9-6. The Explorers (NV) then faced off against (T-19) Harvard University, whom they lost 18-7 to. 

Although the team went .500 in their first weekend, there were mostly positive notes from the team. In a post-game interview, Francesca Co stated, “I think the most important thing is that even though we brought home two wins, which is a good start, we have to learn how to keep a clear mind during the game. Especially in the most difficult games, as was the case against Brown and Harvard, when fatigue starts to take over, we have to stay rational and play smart.” The girls were failing to win swim-offs against faster teams, and often the lack of subs by the coach made the game more difficult for the Explorers. The first weekend of games was the first test of the new head coach James Wolff. La Salle is Wolff’s first experience being the head coach of a Division I athletic program, and the lack of knowledge was apparent against nationally ranked teams. 

The team, however, is full of motivation and energy and seems poised to make a postseason run in the MAAC championships. It’ll be interesting to see how Sophomores Francesca Co as well Tatum Lomax, the youngest starters on the team, further develop in Divisional I athletics and how the coaching style might change depending on the opponent. Regardless, if this weekend of games is any indication of what is to come, the Water Polo team will find themselves battling for top positions within their conference.

Men’s Basketball Travels to Jamaica to go 0-2


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Courtesy of La Salle Men’s Basketball

On Nov. 15, 2022, the La Salle Explorers were able to edge out Division II Queen’s University North Carolina to punch their ticket to the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic tournament.  The La Salle Men’s basketball team then traveled to Jamaica on November 16, 2022, for a week full of practices and, if they were lucky, numerous different games. The Explorers failed once again to live up to their potential, being relegated to the consolation bracket after losing in the first round to Wake Forest. The Explorers then played Georgetown University for the loser’s bracket championship, where they managed to show why they were in the loser’s bracket, losing 69-62. 

The first overseas game the Explorers (2-1) played was against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0). The Explorers came into the game full of energy, as was evident with their 10-2 lead six minutes into the half, a lead that they achieved thanks to three-pointers coming from Senior Guard Josh Nickleberry and Senior transfer forward Hassan Drame. However, this lead was short lived, as the Demon Deacons were able to go on a 13-5 run against the Explorers, tying the game at 15 a piece. The Deacons and Explorers continued to trade point after point with one another, with the Deacons going on a 17-11 run to give them the lead. Despite this apparent setback, the Explorers were able to go on a 7-0 run against the Demons with only 1:30 left to play in the half. The Explorers were helped out by three pointers coming from Nickleberry and Sophomore Guard Khalil Brantley. The Deacons refused to go down without a fight however, and after a layup and a freethrow, were able to take the lead back from the Explorers at 35-33 heading into half time. The Explorers came out of half time with half the energy as the first, which showed in their game play. The Explorers managed to take the lead back 3 separate times during the second half, but were ultimately outscored 40-30 to finish the game at a 75-63 defeat. The Explorers shot an absolutely horrific 21-53 (39.6%) from field goals but somehow managed to make an impressive 11-26 (42.3%) of their three-pointers. It seems like the wonderful warm weather of Jamaica affected the men’s ability to play, as they played perfectly fine in the cold weather of Philadelphia. 

The Men’s team was then relegated to the loser’s tournament bracket after their loss to Wake Forest, where they would face off against the Georgetown Hoyas for the consolation game of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic tournament. The first half of play has to be single handedly the worst basketball I have seen from the Explorers in my short three years of being an Explorer. The Explorers were outscored 21-41 in the half, and the Hoyas carried all of the momentum. The Hoyas were running circles around the Men’s team, and looked like the vastly superior team all throughout the half. The Explorers however, refused to go down without a fight. The Explorers came out of half time full of the energy and motivation that they lacked in the first half, and were determined to bring themselves back into the game. The Explorers were able to go on an 11-4 run within the first 3:14 of the half. Junior Guard Jhamir Brickus was responsible for 9 out of 11 of those points, and was a pivotal part of the Explorer’s offense in the second half. The Hoyas tried to maintain control of the game, but the Explorers momentum was simply too much for them to handle. The Explorers went on a 28-8 run to tie the game at 62 all, with only 2:14 left in the game.  The Hoyas however, were able to stop the Explorers charge, putting themselves up 64-62. After an Explorer defensive foul, the Deacons were able to sink both free throws, putting them up 66-62. The Explorers tried to bring themselves back into the game, but the point deficit they allowed in the first half was too much to handle, ultimately causing the Explorers to lose 69-62. 

These two losses for the Explorers have to be detrimental to the team’s morale, especially after the small momentum they had gained after their back to back wins. The Explorers now sit at 2-3 in the season, with no conference games being played yet. The Explorers will face off against Binghamton at home, where the athletic department will do a trading card giveaway, an issue I will talk about in future articles. For now, the entire school is disappointed by the men’s basketball team and how much money the school is giving them, rather than literally anything else at this school. 

Dean of the school of Arts and Sciences plans to step down from her position in July 2023

Pamela E. Barnett, Ph.D. via La Salle University

Kylie McGovern, Editor 

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D. announced via email that Dr. Pamela Barnett, Ph.D. who is the current Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences plans to step down from her position in July 2023. Barnett has given La Salle 5 years of service as the Dean since her arrival in 2018.

 Barnett’s time and success here at La Salle can be chronicled by accomplishments like the addition of new academic programs like the master’s degree of Social Work, the bachelor’s degree of Science in Actuarial Science, as well as minors in Translational Science and Black Studies. In her time as Dean, Barnett also implemented community building within the school like the addition of faculty retreats, faculty learning communities, and increased faculty diversity. Additionally, Barnett increased grants sought and received within the School of Arts and Sciences. Although replacing a leader like Barnett will be challenging, The Provost’s office will update the La Salle Community in November about the logistics of the search process for a new Dean of Arts and Sciences.

After she concludes her time in July 2023, Barnett hopes to return to La Salle in a new role as an English professor. In addition, Barnett also wants to teach classes in the new black studies minor. After receiving degrees from Barnard and Emory University, Barnett began her career teaching at various colleges like American University and The University of South Carolina. Before coming to La Salle University, she worked as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences while teaching English at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. These experiences propelled Barnett into her role at La Salle and allowed her to use her talents in research, writing, inclusivity, and organization in these roles to which La Salle and the staff at the collegian are grateful. A Senior writer here at the Collegian, Nya Griffin explains that Barnett “will be missed deeply as Dean of A & S, and I will miss her strength in office as a woman and showing women on campus that we can do it!” 

Editor’s note: As an Arts and Science student I wish to extend both my gratitude and congratulations to Dean Barnett. I personally love seeing female leadership here at La Salle and think that both the diversity/inclusivity and financial work Dean Barnett has done during her time will create posterity for the school of A&S. I would love to take a class with Barnett if she joins the English department. 

Women’s soccer team dehorns Fordham


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Courtesy of La Salle Women’s Soccer

On Sun. Oct 9, the Lasalle Explorers women’s soccer team faced off against the Fordham Rams. The Explorers came into the game 6-6-1 in the season (1-4 in conference play), while the Rams came in with a record of 4-7-1 (3-1-1 in conference play). The Explorers’ early success in the season came to a halt midway through the season, grinding their momentum to a screeching halt. This is the first win over The Explorers fell into a mid-season slump, drawing and losing essential games. After a loss to Duquesne, the Explorers were put into a “do or die ” situation if they wanted any sort of shot at a postseason run. Luckily for the Explorers, that is just what they got with this win.

The game was off to a quick start, with both sides trading shots and attempts at goals. Despite this, no team was able to find the back of the net. It was not until the 34th minute that Junior midfielder Kelli McGroarty was able to get the ball past the goalkeeper from 25 yards out, putting the Explorers up 1-0. This goal sparked momentum within McGroarty, as 5 minutes after, she was able to take the ball from the Fordham defender and was able to find the back of the net in the 38th minute, putting the Explorers up 2-0. Not even 3 minutes later, McGroarty was able to complete her hat trick after a pass into the box came from Sophomore midfielder Sunni DiElmo which McGroarty was able to strike into the net, putting the Explorers up 3-0. McGroarty’s hat trick happened in a span of six minutes and 54 seconds. The Explorers outshot the Rams 11-4 in the first half. The Explorers went into halftime leading 3-0. 

The second half of the game was much slower than the first, with only a few shots being exchanged between both teams. In the 53rd minute,  Sophomore midfielder Gabby Picco drew a yellow card after a personal foul on the rams, and in the 72nd minute, a Fordham player drew the first yellow card for her team after a personal foul. The game continued like this until the 80th minute, after a Ram midfielder drew the first goal of the game for the Rams, putting them at a 3-1 disadvantage. The Explorer’s defense would continue to stop the Rams, only allowing them to get off 6 shots in the half, while the Explorers shot seven times. The Explorers outshot the Rams 18-10 in the game. 

Courtesy of Go Explorers

In a post-game interview, the player of the match, Kelli McGroarty, stated, “This win is definitely momentum. We dropped the ball halfway through the season. There were a couple of games early on that we probably should have won, but this game put us back on track. Unfortunately, we have to win out from now on, so this is definitely a helpful game to move us forward in the conference.” Regarding the fact that the team must win from here on out, McGroarty stated, “Our situation is what we call ‘do or die.’ It’s not the situation we want to be in because we’d rather have some wiggle room. We’re in an alright situation right now, we don’t have to rely on other teams [winning or losing], which is good. Also, if you look at the standings and the schedule we have left, we should win, and that should help boost us up in the ranking. This means we potentially have an excellent chance of making the playoffs.”

When asked about the playoffs and their chances of making a long playoff run, McGroarty stated, “We’ve been manifesting A-10s since last year; as soon as the season ended, we were saying it. I think that the chances of us winning are still high. I think our hardest game would be St. Louis, if we make it to the finals, it would probably be us against them, and the game would probably be away, which is good because we do better on the road. Essentially, we have very good hopes.” McGroarty’s hat trick during this game was her first-ever hat trick, and the excitement within McGroarty was palpable. When asked how this is going to influence her, McGroarty stated, “It was a pretty cool feeling. The first goal had fallen down, and when I saw it go in, I just put my head down, and I remember saying, ‘thank God. I have been in a sort of drought since the beginning of the season. I had a few early on, but then I kind of stopped, so it was a nice little pick-me-up. But also, it just proved that when we take shots, they go in, which is something we have been working on as a team [attacking overall]. So, we also did really well with that, we had 11 shots in the first half, and they only had four. That’s a big statement as to why we had so many goals this game.” When asked about the rest of the season, she stated, “the rest of the season looks good. The cards are on our table. We need to win. But you know, things can go south all the time, we had a game where we were up 1-0, and we lost 4-1 (referring to their loss against St. Louis), Everything can change in an instant, so we just have to keep rolling and keep putting balls in the back of the net and let them do it as much. We do that, and we’ll keep winning games.” McGroarty credits the team’s toughness, hard work, and determination to their success thus far and will work towards improving their standings. 

The Explorers will travel to Richmond for their next in-conference game of the season. 

La Salle hosts COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine clinics


Jakob Eiseman, Former Editor-in-Chief

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The updated COVID-19 booster is bivalent, meaning it contains components from two different strains.

La Salle University is set to host two on-campus vaccine clinics for members of the La Salle community in the Union Ballroom. It will provide those eligible with the updated COVID-19 boosters as well as this season’s flu shot free of charge. Any member of the La Salle community 18 years or older is eligible to attend. The first clinic will be held Oct. 12 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the second on Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The clinics will only offer the updated COVID-19 booster to those who received their single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or their second dose of their Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series more than two months prior to booster administration. Those who have already received a booster to their COVID-19 vaccination or series, must have received the booster more than two months prior to be eligible for the new booster.

The updated COVID-19 booster is bivalent, meaning it contains material from two strains of the virus. It contains a portion of the original COVID strain that was known to be the cause of the pandemic since March of 2020, as well as a portion of the BA 1 Omicron strain, which was first identified late last year. By most accounts, those who received their original vaccine or series were protected heavily against the symptoms of Omicron, but not entirely from the virus itself. 

This new booster promises to raise immune system protection against COVID-19 and Omicron, as well as bolstering symptom resistance already granted by the original vaccine.

The La Salle University COVID-19 portal’s latest information states that since the beginning of this semester, 75 members of the La Salle community have contracted COVID-19. Continuing to mask, test regularly and shelter in place are still the most effective and simplest ways to stop the spread of COVID-19, but adding a first or second COVID booster to your arsenal is perhaps the best way to protect yourself from the virus.

In addition to COVID boosters, the vaccine clinic will also provide flu vaccines to those who request one. The CDC has stated that “while limited data exist on giving COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines… experience with giving other vaccines together has shown the way our bodies develop protection and possible side effects are generally similar whether vaccines are given alone or with other vaccines.”

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said in an interview with NPR, “If we have a serious influenza season, and if the Omicron variants continue to cause principally mild disease, this coming winter could be a much worse flu season than COVID.” He also said that this could finally be the year that we see the rise of the long-warned “twindemic,” a season in which COVID-19 and Influenza are just as infectious.

Even those that do not traditionally receive their flu vaccine are encouraged to consider it this season, as the possibility of a twindemic or flu outbreak on campus alongside steadily climbing late year COVID numbers could send the La Salle community back online if not kept in check.
To register for a COVID-19 bivalent booster, flu vaccine or both, click here or email for details.

Field Hockey defeats Rider at home


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Courtesy of Sean Cornely

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Explorers faced off against the Rider Broncs for their home opener game. The Explorers came into the game on a 3-game losing streak and were looking to end the streak with a win at home. The game was off to a slow start in the first quarter, where the defense stole the show on both sides of the ball. The quarter ended with only two shots, both of which came from the Explorers. The Explorers seemed to pick up the pace during the second quarter, where they not only doubled their shots but also managed to come away with their first goal of the contest at the 28th minute. The goal came after a corner pass from Junior forward Tatum Johnson to Sophomore Defender Sofia Pla, who then got the shot off, but the ball ricocheted off of the goal post. Freshman defender Malena Balduzzi then recovered the shot, but it was blocked by the goalkeeper. Johnson was able to scoop up the rebound and get the ball past the goalkeeper, putting the Explorers up 1-0 before the end of the half.
The Explorers seemed to carry the momentum through halftime as they came out of the break full of energy and drive.  The second goal of the contest came from yet another corner, where Johnson passed the ball to Pla, who was able to rip a shot and give the Explorers a two-goal advantage over the Broncs. It wasn’t until the end of the last quarter that Pla once again took a shot on goal after a pass from the corner, although the shot was saved by the Broncs’ goalkeeper, Junior Forward Paige Doyle was able to capture the rebound and put the ball past the keeper, putting the explorers up 3-0 at the end of the game. 

In an interview after the game, Sophomore Sofia Pla stated, “I was excited [after the win]; I felt like we needed that win more than anything.” The Explorers went on a 3-game losing streak prior to this win,  giving them a 2-3 record. Thanks to this win against the Broncs, the Explorers improved their record to 3-3. In regard to this, Pla stated, “Winning at home, having everyone staying despite the rain made it great… I feel like the team felt happy to see the hard work we had been putting into practice actually work. We came from three consecutive hard losses, so winning as we won on Sunday was a great way of ending the bad streak. The team felt good and comfortable at home, we managed to capitalize out of APC’s [Attack penalty corner], and we got our three goals out of it.”

The Explorer’s victory over the Broncs marks their first win over them since 2018. The Explorers advanced to a 5-win and 10-loss record against the Broncs, with this win being the highest margin of victory for the Explorers over the Broncs. Next up, the explorers will travel to Lock Haven for their first conference game of the season. 

The return of Philadelphia’s mask mandate 


The return of Philadelphia’s mask mandate 

Kylie McGovern, Editor

Header Image: New York Times
Philadelphians wearing masks outside of City Hall

On Monday, April 11, Philadelphia announced that the indoor mask mandate would be reinstated beginning on April 18 because of rising COVID-19 cases which have risen more than 50 percent in 10 days. This rise is the threshold that the city’s guidelines call for people to wear masks indoors. Health officials believe the recent spike is being driven by the highly transmissible subvariant of omicron: BA.2. Spreading rapidly throughout Europe and Asia, BA.2 has become dominant in the U.S. and more specifically Philadelphia in recent weeks. Currently, Philadelphia averages 142 new cases per day. 

Masks will be required in all indoor public spaces, including schools and childcare settings, businesses, restaurants and government buildings. Once the mandate goes into effect, residents will be asked to report any business not complying with the mandate. The mask mandate is tied to the COVID-19 Response Levels, and as COVID cases rise in Philly, the Philadelphia Public Health Department wants to protect its most vulnerable residents and they believe wearing a mask around others is an easy way to do that. 

Before the update, Philadelphia was operating on Level One which means that two or more of the following are true: average new cases per day are less than 100, hospitalizations are less than 50 or cases have increased by less than 50 percent in the previous 10 days. There are no vaccine or testing requirements for establishments that serve food or drink in Level One. Within Level One, there is no expressed mask requirement except in schools, healthcare institutions, congregate settings and on public transportation. 

Since the city is transitioning into Level Two, two or more of the following are true: average new cases per day are less than 225, hospitalizations are less than 100 and cases have increased by more than 50 percent in the previous 10 days. With this new phase, the city will be requiring that citizens wear a mask when indoors in public places, but there is no expressed vaccine or testing requirement for places that serve food or drink. 

Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said businesses can choose to be mask-free if they require all employees and visitors to prove they have been vaccinated. Bettigole believes that if the city failed to require masks now, “knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, then it will be too late for many of our residents.” 

Although the national increase for COVID-19 is relatively low, about three percent, cases in northeastern cities like New York City and Washington, D.C., have been higher. Some colleges in the northeast, including Columbia, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, have reinstated indoor mask mandates recently. La Salle University has yet to make a statement about mask requirements, but in the past, La Salle has followed suit with the city of Philadelphia’s guidelines. Some La Salle students are frustrated with the new city guidelines. Sophomore Enrique Carrasco says that the new guidelines are confusing because cases are not as high as they have been in the past when new mask mandates were instated. Senior criminal justice student Audrey Walker says she is “curious to see if the university will follow the city mandate since cases on campus are very low right now,” and senior psychology student Frankie Knoll is concerned about having to wear a mask at graduation if the mandate is put in place. “I think the new mask mandate can be frustrating for some people tired of wearing them, but I think it’s a good idea to protect Philly and get the numbers down,” said graduate student Sarah Lundquist.  In addition, sophomore David O’Brien hopes that La Salle maintains the current policy, rather than mandating masks again.

Results of the 2022-2023 SGA elections


Jakob Eiseman, Editor-in-Chief

Header Image: @​​lasallesga via Instagram

From April 1 to April 8, La Salle’s Student Government Association (SGA) ran elections and promoted campaigns by students running for the positions of student body president, vice president, secretary of academic affairs, secretary of business and senators for each class. SGA ran elections for their executive board from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 1, allowing members of the student body to vote on the four open positions. Although each position’s winner ran uncontested, the voting process was upheld for write-in purposes. The winners of the elections and representatives filling the positions are as follows:

Student Body President- Michaela Craner, Communication Sciences & Disorders 5-year

Student Body Vice President- Nikki Aquino, Biochemistry

Secretary of Academic Affairs- Junie Mertus, Biology

Secretary of Business Affairs- Will Goydan, Finance

Elections for class senators were held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 8, allowing students to vote for multiple candidates for each class senator position. The freshman class of 22-23 will have a chance to elect senators at the beginning of next semester after they have had time to live on campus for a period. The winners of each class senator position are as follows:

Sophomore Class Senators: Brisa Barrios, Biology; Isabel Najera, International Relations; Gwendolyn Karas, Secondary Education

Junior Class Senator- Mia Mattingly, International Relations

Senior Class Senators- Nina Kolodgie, Biology; Brendan Storino, Communication Sciences & Disorders 5 year

We had a chance to catch up with some of the newly elected members of SGA, and this is what they had to say: Goydan was to the book and simply said, “As Secretary of Business Affairs I will be in charge of managing proposals for different events and ensuring that SGA continues to make use of its budget in a way that best supports our community.” Meanwhile, the new student body president, Craner, said “I am so honored to be serving as your SGA president. Looking toward the coming year, I will be focusing on improving communication between the student body and SGA through various means as well as within SGA itself. Next year, I want to grow SGA’s presence on campus through surveys and outreach to other organizations, while strengthening the bonds between our members. Make sure to keep an eye out for our surveys and initiatives in the future.”

On Tuesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. an induction ceremony was held in the La Salle Union Compass Club, and all officials listed above are now officially sworn in as representatives of the student body. We at the Collegian look forward to working closely with SGA to communicate to and from the student body, and wish the new officials the best of luck in their representative and academic endeavors.

Traditionally, SGA has been governed by first collecting data and polling the student body on suggestions and desired changes before communicating those suggestions to the university’s governing bodies, and it looks like Craner will be upholding this tradition. SGA works with several university committees including those related to public safety, dining, campus life and curriculum.