I write to you as a member and Co-Captain of the UMF Dance Team. The spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly affected many on our team. Every year, the team works hard to perform at TD Garden on the court of the Boston Celtics. This year our team would have danced to the song “Confident” by Demi Lovato. Our dance was fast, sassy, fun and well-rehearsed. We finished learning the dance a month in advance of the performance, but unfortunately we were never able to show our dance in the proper venue. Our season was over. At our last practice we filmed the dance and posted it to our Instagram page.
As a member of the UMF Dance Team, and one who, like the rest of the members, was looking forward to the chance to perform on the 360 degree stage, I am truly sad to see my team’s hard work lead to nothing more than a video. However, in light of these hard times I can’t help but think what an amazing season our team had. We may not have been able to perform at TD Garden, but we were able to perform on our home court, which is nothing to sneeze at. We can all smile when “Confident” by Demi Lovato comes on the radio, showing our bond to our team. While it may seem that our season and academic year has ended with a bang, in the form of a pandemic no less, you know what they say: “the show must go on.”
As a team, we plan on hosting group dance sessions, so that even at home we all remain connected. We may even do group zoom yoga, which might help many to relax and destress in these very wonky times. Our team group chat is very much alive and healthy, filled with words of love and appreciation, not to mention all the lovely heart emojis. Even though the team is heartbroken over the cancellation of one of our most prized performances, we are all trying to remain positive, which is the most anyone can do right now.
Being able to remain positive and reminding yourself of all the love that your friends have and the love you hold for them is one way to help survive the new world that UMF has implemented. Trying to find ways to remain connected and in contact with others is a great idea when facing social isolation. Stay active, even if that means doing Zoom yoga. Hopefully we’ll laugh about this one day.
The UMF Dance Team, like many other teams and clubs on campus, have experienced cancellations due to COVID-19. Our team is trying to remain connected to each other. Staying positive will help us all to navigate these new and strange waters.
Co-Captain of the UMF Dance Team
By Brandon Marx
While I may not be a registered Independent, I still do make quite the effort to block out bias and so-called Fake News before formulating an overall opinion on anything political. In a past edition of the Farmington Flyer, an article was featured that conveyed the opinions of UMF students and staff on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
The publication came under heated critique with a featured letter to the editor in issue 4 of the flyer. Dave Larsen, the author of the letter, was quick to call out the editor, asking why they didn’t “condemn this behavior.” Dave stated that it is a newspaper’s responsibility to “call out injustice” and to be honest, fair, and “let your readers decide for themselves.” All of this was in response to Dave’s perceived bias in the author’s original piece.
I find fault in Dave’s criticisms. He insinuates that the author and the editor’s political opinions blinded them from reporting the story objectively. Reading the original piece, the author refrained entirely from reporting their own opinions and did a superb job in ensuring the fairness of the piece. They reached out to multiple people, encompassing a larger perspective and reporting many opinions, not her own. Both Isaac Michaud, treasurer of UMF College Republicans, and Jeffrey Willey, President of the UMF College Democrats were interviewed, and their vastly differing platforms were reported, unedited and without any fake news. I would ask Dave rather if his political bias got in the way of digesting this piece as the truly fair article it was. I would argue that Dave’s predetermined opinion on the issue resulted in a “quick to judge” fashion of reading.
However, I would like to address a more troubling quote in the letter. Dave asks “who’s going to say something when [sexual assault reporters] come for us.” To this question, I offer one piece of advice— don’t sexually assault women. Kavanaugh, “one of the best of us,” according to Dave, was put on trial for sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Ford. It happened. It does happen. And not just by creeps and pervs, and they don’t all get caught. In fact, according to the criminal justice system, out of every 1,000 rapes, only 310 cases will be reported and a terrifying 994 perpetrators will walk free. These statistics should be frightening. So, instead of worrying about who will come to the rescue of abusers when women start reporting them, we should be more focused on helping victims report their assaults without fear.
Dave closes his remarks with a statement to the editor. He says, “…be honest, fair, then let your readers decide for themselves.” I agree with Dave completely here. Editors and journalists should be just that: honest and fair. In fact, I don’t think the article in question could have been more honest or more fair. I praise the author for her objective, unbiased, and overall brilliant reporting of UMF’s student and staff opinions on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. I also praise the editor for their ability to see the true honesty and fairness in the publication.
Dave Larsen Contributing Writer
As a registered Independent I make an effort to listen to all sides while attempting to block the political noise and decide on the merits. I am a new student here, so I read the piece on the Kavanaugh confirmation with eager anticipation. What bothers me is in the article no where was the innate unfairness to Judge/Justice Kavanaugh brought up, much less condemned by the author.
How is it that a man, who by all accounts, leads an exemplary life, is considered an outstanding jurist, husband, and father can get dragged through the political mud in an effort to destroy his good name and everyone is okay with that? Has politics gotten so bad that its okay to trash a man’s reputation on zero evidence and a 35 year old recalled memory?
When good people sit by and say nothing while they slander one of the best of us, whose going to say something when they come for one of us? Are we witnessing the death of Fairness in this country when so many are willing to ignore the difference between right and wrong?
You have an individual quoted in your article stating Senator Susan Collins “decided” not to do the right thing, perhaps this individual used mind reading skills to ascertain this critical information in which case I will use my mind reading skills to ascertain this individual succumbed to political correctness rather then standing up for the right thing which is Fairness for all Americans.
As a newspaper, it’s your duty to call out injustice in our country, while I understand this was an Opinion piece, why didn’t the Editor of the paper come out in the strongest terms condemning this behavior. Drop the politics and be the umpire, call balls and strikes but don’t take sides, be honest, fair then let your readers decide for themselves.