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. 

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.

Men’s Soccer team grounds the Hawks in 2-1 win


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Credit La Salle Men’s Soccer

On Sat., Sept. 24, the La Salle Explorers Men’s soccer team traveled to St. Joseph’s University for their second conference game of the season. The Explorers went into the game 1-5-2 in the season (0-1 in conference play) and were looking to better their record, as well as their standings within the conference. 

The game was off to a rough start for the Explorers when Junior defender Aimar Leunda lost control of the ball in the backfield, allowing St Joe to get possession, cross the ball, and ultimately find the back of the net only 18 seconds into the game. It seemed like this goal really affected their game plan, as the Hawks maintained most of the momentum in the first half of the game. Towards the end of the first half, the Explorers gave away a crucial penalty kick after a handball call was made inside of the penalty box. Luckily, Freshman Goalkeeper Filip Sabatti was able to dive low in the perfect direction, perfectly stopping the penalty shot from the Hawks. This penalty stop gave the Explorers the momentum that they needed, and the team seemed like a completely new team. La Salle ended the half down 1-0 but carried all the momentum in the game.

At the beginning of the second half, the explorers continued their momentum and came out of the locker room in full swing. The Explorers were full of energy and continued their aggressive offense to full effect. It was not until the 73rd minute of the game that the Explorers were able to tie the game after Sophomore defender Andres Rodriguez was able to get the ball past the keeper by capitalizing on a blocked shot that rebounded to him. The Explorers used this lapse in defense to their advantage, and two minutes after their first goal, were once again able to find the back of the net after Omari Cotterell was able to send a long pass down the field to a wide-open Nigel Buckley. Buckley drove the ball down the field and managed to put the Explorers up 2-1. St Joe’s did not give up so easily, though, having several corner kicks in the final minutes of the game. Despite this, the Explorer’s defense was able to hold strong and maintained the team’s lead until the end of the game. 

Despite this win for the Explorers, a dark cloud still looms over the team. The team is still 2-5-2 in the season and every game from here on out counts. The Explorers have had trouble finishing attacks, and this has translated to the various defeats the Explorers have suffered. The Explorers must ensure that they win every game from here on out if they want any possibility of making it to the playoffs. This win over the hawks was a perfect step in the right direction for the Explorers, and cannot wait to see what they do next.

The Eagles Continue Hot Streak with Victory Over Commanders


Charlie Hug, Staff

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Eagles came into Week 3 hot after back-to-back wins against the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Playing in front of the thousands of Philly fans who took the trek down to Landover, Maryland, the Eagles kept their momentum going in a 24-8 rout over the Washington Commanders. In the team’s first meeting with former quarterback Carson Wentz, it was all defense in the first quarter for the Eagles. The team recorded four sacks on Wentz in the first quarter, making them the first team with four sacks in an opening quarter since 2019 and the first Eagles defense to do so since 1991. Coming into the game, the defense was perhaps the biggest question surrounding this Eagles team. After allowing 35 points to the sub-par Detroit Lions, they followed by allowing only 7 points to the reigning NFC North champion, the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 3, the Eagles defense showed that they are officially locked, ultimately ending the game with nine sacks – the most of any team this season- and three forced fumbles on Carson Wentz. 

As for the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles once again showed why they are one of only three undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. Early MVP candidate, Jalen Hurts, continued his spectacular start to the season with another masterful game. He completed 22 of his 35 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns, earning him a QBR of 123.5. This came as a result of a career day from second-year wide receiver Devonta Smith. Smith could not be stopped on Sunday, securing eight catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. The highlight of the day was an incredible 44-yard leaping catch by Smith to put the Eagles at the Commanders’ 1-yard line with 25 seconds left in the first half. Smith was then able to cap off the drive with another highlight catch in the endzone to put the Eagles up 24-0 heading into the half. 

The Eagles get to stay home and play in front of the Philly faithful in Week 4 against a Jacksonville Jaguars team coming off a big win against the Los Angeles Chargers. Should the Eagles pull out a win at home, they look poised to head into their Week 7 bye with an undefeated record after matchups against the inconsistent Arizona Cardinals and the banged-up Dallas Cowboys. The biggest questions still following the Eagles this season: Will Jalen Hurts be able to keep up his MVP-caliber play, and will the defense be able to stay consistent in both the front and back fields? This week’s matchup against Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be able to prove just that.

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.

Where the war in Ukraine might be going and how the war could impact Philadelphia


Mark Thomas, Professor of political science

Header Image:

As the war in Ukraine enters its fourth week, the lingering questions are whether the Russia-Ukraine War could expand into a war between NATO and Russia; and, if it did expand, could a NATO-Russia war escalate into a nuclear war. But more poignant and salient is how could a nuclear exchange between Russia, the U.S. and its NATO allies impact Philadelphia and the surrounding area. 

To the first point of whether the Russia-Ukraine war could expand into a NATO-Russia war, Dr. Mitchell Orenstein, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has contended such a war is unlikely. Such thinking is either delusional or wishful thinking. There are three possible outcomes for the current war in Ukraine: 1) The war becomes a quagmire for Russian forces and remains confined to Ukraine; 2) Russian forces turn the tide of war and gain control of Ukraine or 3) Russian forces withdraw either completely, or, more likely partially, enough to create a land bridge between the Donbas to the Crimean Peninsula. Of the three possible scenarios, only the third, e.g. a Russian withdrawal, excludes the possibility of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. Scenario one likely will entail Russian bombardment of NATO and NATO member-state logistics-supply routes from the west to the east. In the second scenario, buoyed by its success in Ukraine, Russia invades southern Lithuania based on its geo-strategic need to (re)establish a land-bridge between Russia and Kaliningrad, the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Fleet and of the Russian Army’s Kaliningrad Military District. Scenario three, which may not occur immediately but is surely a matter of when, not a matter of if, could also include incursions into Latvia and Lithuania so Russian can regain control of the Baltic Sea, where it has one of three warm-water ports, the other two at Sevastopol (Crimea) on the Black Sea, and Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast.   

In either the first or second scenario, NATO has two options: Respond with sanctions, essentially appeasing Russia for its new aggression or resort to the tried-and-true logic of nuclear deterrence and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Given NATO’s Article 5 commitments and the risk of losing its credibility of defending democracy as well as national sovereignty if it does not respond militarily; and given Putin’s mindset; and basic tactical tenets of Russian military doctrine, NATO must respond and the prospect of nuclear war becomes more likely than even in the most tense days of the Cold War, minus the strategic miscalculations which almost led to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) and Able Archer (1983). 

So, what is the likelihood Philadelphia will suffer during a nuclear war? First, we must distinguish between the two types of nuclear attacks: a counter-force strike and a counter-value strike. A counter-force strike is one in which the attacker seeks to destroy the opponent’s ability to wage war, both conventional and nuclear. A counter-value strike is one in which the attacker targets the civilian population in an attempt to eliminate the popular will to wage war.  Given many counter-strike targets are often collocated to highly populated areas, the difference between a counter-strike and counter-value attacks blurs considerably. 

In any case, for better or worse, Philadelphia is likely not high on the Russian nuclear target list.  Why for the worse? To be ranked high on the target list, a location has to have either a significant military presence, or a technological or industrial base which contributes substantially to the national defense. Due to poor decisions by federal, state and local officials over the past several years, Philadelphia has neither. That is the good news insofar as Philadelphia will likely not be hit by a nuclear warhead in a counter-force strike.

The fact that Philadelphia is not a counter-force strike target belies the fact that destruction of property is the least of the types of damage which nuclear weapons cause. Given its central location between New York and Washington, its close proximity to significant military bases and logistics hubs in outlying areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and its general proximity to one of three of the U.S. government’s major underground continuity of operations sites, all of which are viable counter-strike targets, depending on whether or not the Russians want to allow the U.S. leadership to survive after the first strike so they can stop the war, Philadelphia will mostly likely suffer from the two most deadly and most long-lasting sources of death and mayhem following a nuclear strike. The most well-known of the two is radiation poisoning, which will decimate plant and animal life across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey depending on the wind direction and whether the nuclear fallout reaches the jet stream. 

The third type of damage is the technology-killing effect of the high energy electro-magnetic pulses (EMP) which a nuclear blast emits. Such an after-effect only requires a single well-placed strike or a high enough altitude blast. With one such blast, either close to any city within a 500-mile radius of Philadelphia will disable any appliance or device which does not rely on vacuum-tube technologies, or which is hardened against EMP, making them into high-cost paper-weights. In layperson’s language, the EMPs will knock out all devices upon which U.S. society and economy depends to do its day-to-day functioning: computers, cell phones and I.T. networks will fail, with the catastrophic ripple effects across any sector of the U.S. critical infrastructure which relies on digital technology. Briefly, there is not a single sector of society which does not rely on digital technologies. The EMP will essentially disable the emergency service sector, the communications sector, the financial sector, the commercial facilities sector, the transportation sector and the agriculture and farming sector. A single, low-radiation nuclear blast would essentially catapult Philadelphia from the 21st Century to the 17th Century. 

Is such a scenario avoidable? Yes, as long politicians remember the Cold War tenets of MAD, despite a successful pre-emptive counter-force strike, the other side still retains sufficient capability to destroy countervalue targets in retaliation. The crazy logic behind MAD is what many believed deterred Russia and the U.S. from launching nuclear weapons during the tensest days of the Cold War.  It is also the fear of NATO escalating the war and respecting its Article 5 commitments which could end the conflict now.  First, it would give Russian leaders a moment of pause to consider the consequences of Putin’s aggression.  Second, a critical tenet of Russian military doctrine is protecting the Russian homeland from destruction, a tenet to which the Russian military leaders and intelligence leaders have closely abided since 1953. The last Russian leader who placed the Russian homeland at risk was Nikita Khrushchev, whom the Russian generals and intelligence chiefs, in collaboration with Communist Party leaders, e.g. Brezhnev, quietly removed from power. I think Putin is catching a cold. Perhaps a bad case of COVID-19 is in his near future.

Philadelphia homeless population’s possessions discarded 


Kylie McGovern, Editor 

Header Image: Philadelphia Inquirer

On Feb. 22, news was released that the day before the city of Philadelphia broke up two homeless encampments in Kensington this past summer. Villanova University professor Stephanie Sena, Villanova law student Delaney Keefe, and ACT-UP Philadelphia activist Jazmyn Henderson put Apple AirTags on belongings of eight of the encampments’ occupants. AirTags are tracking devices designed to act as a key finder to help people find personal objects. Soon after the encampments were broken up, the AirTags showed that four items were in a solid-waste facility in Conshohocken a few miles outside of Philadelphia. Advocates believe that this removal of belongings is a violation of constitutional rights for those experiencing homelessness. 

Keefe posted videos she shot on Aug. 18 that shows city workers pulling a couch out of a tent, and then destroying the tent. Greg Ramseyer, the owner of the tent, explained the tent was his property and he explained to police and city workers that the couch was not abandoned. In addition to Ramseyer’s couch, a black trunk, a plastic container of clothes and a backpack with a wallet and identification cards, which are considered extraordinarily difficult for people who are homeless to replace, were tracked in the waste facility in Conshohocken. 

The Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services’ website explains, “We will store personal belongings for free for at least 30 days” after a clear-out. A spokesperson for the city claims that any possessions collected at the encampment were stored at Prevention Point, a public health and social services nonprofit in Kensington. So, if something is thrown out, it is because the object was considered to be dangerous, abandoned or debris. “The city takes multiple steps to avoid disposing of anyone’s possessions, and offers storage,” the city’s spokesperson said. “For safety reasons, city staff do not go through individual bags.” The spokesperson added, “Individuals are encouraged to take their possessions with them and the city makes reasonable efforts to ensure that items that are clearly identifiable as personal property/personal belongings are not discarded.” However, the city has not addressed the data the AirTags picked up in Conshohocken. 

According to, in 2020 13,375 people were homeless in PA averaging about 10.4 homeless people per 10,000. However, the homeless population’s possessions being discarded is a widespread issue throughout urban areas throughout the US, not just Philadelphia. Similar situations have happened on the west coast in Phoenix and Los Angeles. In addition, this is a longstanding issue because, in 2012, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that the personal possessions the homeless leave for a short time on city sidewalks may be taken only if the possessions pose an immediate threat to public safety or health or constitute criminal evidence. Nonetheless, these rules are up to interpretation–like in Philadelphia which may lead to possessions being discarded.