The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Four years in review

Four+years+in+review

Moments that defined the class of 2019’s time at St. Joe’s

While everyone always asks how we have changed and grown over our time at St. Joe’s these past few years, the environment around us has also experienced many shifts during our college careers, impacting both the world and our perceptions of it.

Our education at St. Joe’s has taught us to be politically aware and engaged citizens—understanding towards others and active about the issues for which we want to see change. Although we need to continue our awareness, activism and passion in the years ahead of us, we also should reflect upon the major political events that have characterized our time while at St. Joe’s:

2016 presidential election:

For many of us, 2016 represents our first presidential election as eligible voters. No matter your political party, the election of President Donald Trump marks a key shift in the political atmosphere that surrounded our college career.

With American politics turning back to more conservative leadership, we have navigated through our own political views, our relationship with those who disagree with us and what we want to prioritize politically in upcoming years.

Brexit referendum passes:

In 2016, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU). This decision indicated Britain’s desire to distance itself from the rest of Europe, disconnecting the intricate social, political and economic ties that have developed.

While we still cannot tell the repercussions that Brexit may have on both state relations and the economic markets, the decision may be indicative of a growing resistance to globalization and interdependence that characterize the global system. In regards to American relevance, we also must decide how to define our own relations with other countries and people.

Women’s March:

Moving into 2017, we witnessed the first annual Women’s March on Washington. On Trump’s first full day in office, the Women’s March in cities around the country demanded reproductive, equal pay and general human rights for women globally.

Many students, faculty and staff attended the local march in Philadelphia in 2017 and in years since then. This continuing movement that has spread globally marks the increasingly prevalent calls for human rights and equality that took place during our time as undergraduate students.

U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement:

Trump announced in 2017 that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which aims to mitigate the catastrophic effects that high output of greenhouse gas emissions are causing to the environment. As recent college graduates, we are told to focus on our future, and this future includes the safety of our earth.

The U.N. issued a report that stated that we have 12 years to decrease the rate of climate change before we face more destructive events—including droughts, floods and extreme heat. U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement indicates the deprioritization of our environment and may condone other countries to also withdraw.

We should care about the intrinsic value of our home, but if not solely for that, we also have a responsibility to secure the environment for ourselves and for future generations to enjoy the land as we have.

Eagles win the 2018 Super Bowl:

We had the opportunity to experience the Eagles’ first Superbowl win in the heart of Philadelphia. On the night the Eagles won, community members—including many students—poured onto the streets of Philadelphia to celebrate the victory.

It was a moment of unity and excitement for our community, and we even had classes canceled for the Super Bowl parade. Local events distinguish our time on campus just as much as national and global events, and the Eagles win solidified our bond as classmates and Philadelphia community members.

Jamal Khashoggi murder:

Jamal Khashoggi—a journalist who often criticized the Saudi Arabian government in outlets like The Washington Post—was murdered in 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. While exact details still remain unclear, Khashoggi’s murder is largely recognized as part of a widespread and brutal crackdown on dissenters in Saudi Arabia by the government.

The assassination has been internationally condemned as a human rights violation, yet few sanctions have actually been placed on Saudi Arabia or the Crown Prince himself. By failing to investigate this incident further and pursue more severe sanctions, we are indirectly allowing this brutal behavior.

We must decide how to view incidents like this and how we want to act in the future to indicate our intolerance for such violent behavior likely orchestrated by another government.

Mueller report:

Now into 2019, after Mueller submitted his report regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the attorney general read the report and determined that not enough evidence existed to charge Trump with collusion, but the findings also “do not exonerate” Trump.

The Mueller report has been a controversial topic spanning most of our time here at St. Joe’s. The idea of Russian interference in our elections calls into question the infallibility of our democratic institutions that operate independently from other countries.

Regardless of final findings from the report as we continue to gain more information, we must decide how to handle potential interference in our elections and determine how much transparency we demand from our government.

As we graduate from St. Joe’s and move forward in our lives, we will continue to face social, political and economic events for which we must decide how to respond. As a generation—and as St. Joe’s students, now alumni—we have already displayed our passion and refusal to remain passive about issues that motivate us.

No matter your background, beliefs, political leanings or other, we should all remain encouraged to pursue the change we want to see in the world.

As the Jesuits would say: go forth, and set the world on fire.

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