Gov. Cuomo facing multiple harassment accusations

ELLA BRIGHT
STAFF WRITER

Andrew Cuomo, the 56th governor of the state of New York, has recently been facing sexual harassment allegations from multiple women over the course of the past few weeks. Most of New York’s congressional delegation across the country are demanding his resignation.

The accusations towards Gov. Cuomo include sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior, stemming from multiple women, including both current and former state employees. Letitia James, New York’s state attorney general, has opened an investigation into the claims and named two outside lawyers to lead them.

Gov. Cuomo has refuted every single one of these claims and resisted the calls for his resignation, surmounting it to a result of political differences and the negative effects of a newly emerging ‘cancel-culture’. The only apology he has issued thus far is for “acting in a way that made people feel uncomfortable”.

While some of the claims against the 64-year-old governor include only verbal harassment, others are more physical and explicit. In October 2017, Lindsey Boylan, a former administration aide, wrote in an online essay a myriad of uncomfortable and inappropriate interactions she has had with Gov. Cuomo spanning from 2015 to 2018. Boylan wrote that Mr. Cuomo told her they should “play strip poker” during a flight from an event in Western New York.

Boylan also wrote that, in 2018, Cuomo gave her a kiss on the lips that was unexpected and not consented to.

“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips,” wrote Boylan.

She also wrote that he had gone “out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”

The governor’s office has denied these allegations, as well as the several others that have surfaced.

This isn’t the only scandal the governor is facing. Earlier in the year, it was released in a 76-page report that New York’s Department of Health underreported the deaths relating to the coronavirus as much as 50%.

The report contains allegations that the nursing homes failed to isolate residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and also demanded that employees who reported symptoms of feeling sick had to continue to come to work, under the threat of termination.

The report also claims that nursing homes in New York had insufficient protective equipment for their staff, insufficient testing materials for their residents, and lack of compliance with an order requiring communication with residents’ family members.

This scandal is, along with the sexual assault allegations, is currently being investigated.

One of the most interesting facts of these scandals and allegations plaguing Gov. Cuomo is that the demand for his resignation is bipartisan. In a country currently gripped by political unrest, extremely divided with their citizens on “one side or the other,” both elected officials of the Republican Party and Cuomo’s fellow Democrats are calling for him to step down. On March 12, nearly every Democrat in New York’s congressional delegation said that Mr. Cuomo had lost the ability to govern.

Women at Alma College are also voicing their displeasure with the conduct of New York’s governor.

“Men can be so disgusting in terms of how they use their power,” said Sophia Liolli (‘22). “If they have too much power, they can pull terrible events like these, which can traumatize a victim for years or even decades.”

“I think it’s sad to say that I’m not surprised that Cuomo is being accused of sexual assault,” said Racheal Vanloo (‘24). “It seems that almost every man in power is getting a light shined on him and now we’re finding out the disturbing truth.”

Who deserves the COVID-19 vaccine?

COURTNEY SMITH
STAFF WRITER

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, all of humanity has been searching for a light at the end of the tunnel. That light, for many, arrives in the form of a vaccine. The state of Michigan has administered COVID-19 vaccines for the past six months; however, due to limited availability of vaccines, healthcare administrators released the vaccine in tiers according to age, occupation, and health status.

“Since December 2020, COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan became available for front line workers such as healthcare workers and first responders in congregate settings, and those aged 65 and older,” said professor of integrated physiology and health sciences, Hyun Kim. “Pre-K-12 teachers, school staff, and licensed child care workers were also vaccinated after these groups. The state of Michigan has been expanding vaccination eligibility for those aged 16 and older with disabilities or medical beginning March 22nd, and starting April 5th, everyone over 16 will become eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The public as well as the campus community have expressed mixed opinions on what groups of people deserve to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before others. Much controversy has arisen from the exclusion of college students from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine before the general public, as they live in communal settings in which the virus spreads rapidly.

“Since last year, health inequity has been the topic in the area of public health,” said Kim. “One of the ethical principles of COVID-19 vaccine priority groups was to promote justice and to mitigate health inequities. Alma College is one of a few higher-educational institutions who has opened the campus for in-person learning while many others, especially large state universities, have not. I think the student population cannot be prioritized due to these reasons mentioned above unless they have high-risk underlying conditions or work at the healthcare settings. Again, I believe vaccine priorities should be given to those, no matter if they are students or faculty members, at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection.”

Another source of controversy arose when Alma College faculty members were offered the COVID-19 vaccine prior to students, even though many of these faculty members had opportunities to receive the vaccine at prior dates.

“The COVID-19 vaccine was provided first to the faculty of Alma College,” said Kim. “There were a fair number of faculty members with underlying health conditions who did not get vaccinated due to delays in vaccination scheduling in Michigan. I think this was why COVID-19 vaccine was offered prior to students.”

Although many felt that college students should have qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine at an earlier date, various different factors were considered in determining vaccine eligibility.

“Mortality and morbidity data of COVID-19 in the United States has shown that individuals aged 65 and older or with high-risk health conditions have been significantly affected by severe complications such as trouble breathing, heart problems, and additional bacterial infections,” said Kim. “Based on this evidence, I personally think the vaccine could have been offered to students at the same time to faculty, but to those with underlying conditions prior to everyone,

because we, as a campus community, have been working together diligently to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.”

At the end of the day, each vaccine administered in our campus community brings us one step closer to bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to a close.

Harry and Meghan expose the Royal Family

JORDYN BRADLEY
SPORTS EDITOR

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, exposed the Royal Family for failing to protect them and their son, Archie.

Before Archie was born, Meghan was told by a member of the firm (as she referred to it in the interview) that he would not have a title, which would not grant him security.

When asked why her son–a great-grandchild of the Queen–would not have a title when the rest of the children born into the family did, she received no response.

However, many speculate that this is due to Archie being biracial.

An undisclosed immediate member of the family even voiced concern directly to Prince Harry about how dark his son’s skin would be, fueling a whole new narrative regarding the agenda of the “firm.”

After the interview with Oprah was released, the Royal Family has been criticized for these racist remarks, but Harry refused to divulge who specifically said them, as it would “destroy” their life.

Since Harry and Meghan’s relationship went public, British tabloids were quick to fault her for even the most normal behavior. This put in question the double standard between her and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, and many wonder if it is due to Meghan’s race.

During one of Kate’s pregnancies, DailyMail praised her for, “tenderly [cradling] her baby bump.”

However, when Meghan was photographed the same way, DailyMail’s headline was, “Why can’t Meghan Markle keep her hands off her bump?” and asked whether it was “pride, vanity, acting–or a new age bonding technique.” This is just one of the many examples where British tabloids compared the two and portrayed Meghan negatively. Media have also accused Meghan of trying to take Harry away from his family and criticized her for her behavior, as she should have understood what she “signed up for.”

However, nobody can say what an experience is like until they are experiencing it. It is easy for commoners to say we would adjust a certain way when we will never have the opportunity to be in someone else’s shoes.

“I think if there are issues [about the Royal Family] that the public doesn’t see, it is good for it to be brought out to the public,” said Madee Hall (‘23).

The Royal Family’s inability to stand up for Meghan when inaccurate headlines about her were published is something else that has bothered her throughout her time as a member of the family.

To Oprah, Meghan said the firm was, “willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

The Duke and Duchess’s purpose for doing the interview was not to destroy lives or expose anyone in their family; it was to speak their truth after being ridiculed for the decisions they have made over the last year to step down as senior members of the Royal Family.

This did not mean that they wanted to leave their family or that they didn’t want to be royals; they did not want as much responsibility as senior members are supposed to hold.

This decision is what they believed was best for their well-being.

Meghan confided in Oprah about her mental health struggles during her pregnancy with Archie. It got to the point where Meghan did not trust herself alone, and told Harry she frankly did not want to be alive anymore.

When the couple asked members of the Royal Family if she could receive inpatient care for her mental health and take some time away for treatment, they told her it would not be a good look for their family.

These are supposed to be her family members. Yet, they cared more about how they looked to the public than how much she was struggling.

“Meghan is a part of the family and they need to treat her more like it,” said Hall.

“I don’t think Meghan and Harry are getting enough credit for doing what they have. [They] are people, too.”

The couple now have a farm in California and are expecting a baby girl this summer. They still actively talk with Queen Elizabeth, but expressed how relationships with many other members of the family will need time to mend.

Ultimately, they made the best decision for themselves and their family.

Grammy Awards update

ALIVIA GILES
EMILY MCDONALD
STAFF WRITERS

WESTON HIRVELA
GRAPHIC CREATOR

Due to Covid-19 precautions, this year’s Grammy Awards looked very different from that of previous years, but the show still managed to produce plenty of historic, controversial and memorable moments.

As pre-show coverage began, many viewers were excited to see what their favorite performers were wearing. Pop artist, Dua Lipa graced the red carpet in a Versace gown, while Taylor Swift opted for a floral Oscar de la Renta mini dress and Louboutin heels.

For Alma College Fashion Club president, Karmella Williams (’23), the red carpet looks were a very important part of the event, “Dua Lipa and Erin Lim were the best-dressed artists. My top favorite was Dua Lipa.”

The event kicked off with a monologue from host, Trevor Noah. English Harry Styles sang his pop hit, “Watermelon Sugar,” followed by performances by Billie Eilish and Finneas and HAIM.

Williams felt that all the artists featured gave strong performances but was partial to Harry Styles’, “I liked the ‘Watermelon Sugar’ performance, [but] I did not dislike any of the performances.”

Among the night’s biggest winners was Beyoncé. Alongside her nine-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy and WizKid, the music icon took home the award for Best Music Video for “Brown Skin Girl.”

Beyoncé went on to win three more awards over the course of the night, including Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best R&B Performance. With 28 wins, she broke country artist Alison Krauss’ record and made history as the most-awarded woman in Grammys history.

Actress/comedian Tiffany Hadish received her first Grammy for Best Comedy Album for “Black Mitzvah,” while television host and political commentator Rachel Maddow won Best Spoken Word Album.

Bad Bunny won Best Latin Pop or Urban Album for his debut album, “YHLQMDLG.” Accompanied by Jhay Cortez, the Puerto Rican star performed his hit single “Dákiti.”

Megan Thee Stallion was awarded Best New Artist, making her the first woman rapper to win the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999. She also took home Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B took the stage to perform their hit “WAP” for the first time on television. The racy performance garnered a fierce response from viewers as well as conservative news sources, such as Fox News.

The Grammy for Song of The Year went to Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas for “I Can’t Breathe,” while Harry Styles took home Best Pop Solo Performance for “Watermelon Sugar.”

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande received the award for Best Duo/Group Performance for their song “Rain On Me,” while Fiona Apple was awarded with Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance and received a nomination for Best Rock Song.

K-Pop group, BTS received their first Grammy nomination for their hit “Dynamite.” While the group had presented at the show in 2019 and made a cameo in Lil Nas X’s performance last year, this year marked the first time a South Korean act had ever performed one of their own songs at the Grammys.

Miranda Lambert was honored with the Grammy for Best Country Album for “Wildcard,” while Dua Lipa won Best Pop Vocal Album for “Future Nostalgia.”

Taylor Swift, accompanied by collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff took home the Grammy for Album of the Year for their album “Folklore.” The win made Swift the first woman to win Album of the Year three times, having previously won for her albums “Fearless” and “1989.”

The final award of the night, Record of The Year, went to 19-year-old pop artist Billie Eilish for her album “Everything I Wanted.” Eilish dedicated her acceptance speech to Megan Thee Stallion, who she felt “deserved” the honor, before ending by thanking the Academy.

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