Posted November 11, 2020

Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media

An Owl volunteered as a first-time poll worker, while Temple faculty discussed the 2020 presidential election and the impact COVID-19 will have on the holiday season

The exterior of Charles Library.
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito

Temple faculty discussed the U.S. presidential election, a possible coronavirus vaccine and how the pandemic will affect the holiday season, while an Owl volunteered as a first-time poll worker.

Could there be a recount in Pennsylvania and how would it work?
With a tight U.S. presidential race, people are wondering about the possibility of vote recounts in a handful of states, including Pennsylvania. “I believe a recount is likely. The margins right now are very narrow, but also since Pennsylvania doesn’t require actual evidence of voter fraud, it allows for a lot of room in this process,” said Nyron Crawford, assistant professor of political science.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 6, 2020

A librarian’s interests, from Art Nouveau to virtual reality
When Jasmine Clark, digital scholarship librarian at Temple University Libraries’ Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, isn’t collecting books with Art Nouveau cloth bindings or attending cultural events, she’s working on a virtual reality project with the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. “I think that there’s a lot of room for exploring new ways of providing digital access to special collections with the rise of COVID-19,” she said.
Fine Books & Collections|Nov. 4, 2020

Home is what you name it
For some homeowners, what makes a house a home is a name. David Wilk, assistant professor of finance and director of the real estate program at the Fox School of Business, believes naming a house is a way of emphasizing its importance to the owner. “Your home is your identity,” he said. “People may name their house to impress others, but mostly it’s a way to make their house seem more lovable and more interesting.”
New York Times|Nov. 3, 2020

Getting people to trust a COVID-19 vaccine means confronting medical racism
While some people are concerned that a coronavirus vaccine might be rushed through the approval process for political reasons, others are suspicious because of the mistreatment of members of minority groups in medical research. “Our message can’t be that we are shaming people for not being interested, or making them feel bad for not protecting their health,” said Margot Savoy, chair and associate professor of family and community medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. “People are saying ‘no’ because they are genuinely afraid. And if you dismiss people’s fears without helping them to have a reason to trust you, we will lose them—and not just for this vaccine.”
Wired|Nov. 2, 2020

A Temple Made Christmas
YouTuber and Ellen star Kalen Allen, TFM ’18, has recorded his debut album: For Christmas Sake! Featuring a mix of holiday favorites and original songs composed by Allen and his co-executive producer Angel Lee Higgs, the album will be released digitally. “Christmas has always been my favorite holiday,” Allen said. “Considering the current climate of the world and the fact that we can’t go home for the holidays, I thought I’d bring the holidays to your home, aka your ears. For Christmas’ sake!”
Billboard|Nov. 2, 2020

The holiday season vs. pandemic fatigue
Scientists know more now about how the coronavirus is transmitted than they did at the beginning of the pandemic. But experts warn we mustn’t give into pandemic fatigue, especially during the holidays. “It’s very human to crave a return to normalcy and make COVID-19 just disappear,” said Jeni Stolow, a social and behavioral scientist and an assistant professor of instruction at the College of Public Health. “But the reality is that it isn’t going to go away just because we want it to.”
Washington Post|Oct. 31, 2020  

Protesting U.S. sanctions aimed at the International Criminal Court’s supporters
In June, President Donald Trump issued an executive order subjecting “foreign persons” (including dual citizens) to sanctions if they support the work of the International Criminal Court. Margaret M. deGuzman, James E. Beasley Professor of Law, co-director at the Institute for International Law and Public Policy and a U.S.-Canadian dual citizen, is suing the Trump administration in protest. “If I am designated under the order, the U.S. government can freeze my assets, restrict my travel and those who interact with me can be imprisoned for up to 20 years,” she said. “All for helping an institution whose mission, in the words of its statute, is to ‘put an end to impunity’ for ‘unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.’”
CBC|Oct. 31, 2020

Taking a closer look at Philadelphia’s social unrest
The death of Walter Wallace Jr., an African American man who was shot by police, sparked protests throughout Philadelphia. Jason Del Gandio, associate professor of instruction at the Klein College of Media and Communication, feels the protests might be the result of systematic oppression, combined with the tense atmosphere nationally. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic and we also can’t undermine the [Donald] Trump effect,” he said. “There’s a million things happening right now. I think all that adds to the level of frustration and rejection of the overall system.”
Philadelphia Tribune|Oct. 30, 2020  

How to host a safe outdoor Thanksgiving (and decide if you should)
As the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are advising us to reconsider our plans for the holiday season. It’s important to discuss greeting etiquette and know what to do if someone doesn’t feel well on Thanksgiving. And if you would prefer to stay at home, let your family know as soon as you can. “Everyone should feel comfortable canceling right now,” said Aimee Palumbo, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of instruction at the College of Public Health.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Oct. 29, 2020  

COVID-19 cases were on the rise in every swing state before Election Day
In the 13 states considered swing states, the weekly average of new coronavirus cases reported daily rose 52% in the two weeks before Election Day, leading to concerns that voters might avoid going to the polls. “It’s going to come down to a calculation of risk and risk aversion,” said Kevin Arceneaux, the Thomas J. Freaney Jr. Professor of Political Science, faculty affiliate with the Institute for Public Affairs and director of the Behavioral Foundations Lab. “If people are really risk-averse about this and cases are spiking, it could deter some people from going to the polls.”
Washington Post|Oct. 29, 2020

Owl volunteers as first-time poll worker
Georgia Hight-Schickel, Class of 2022, signed up to be a poll worker after seeing President Barack Obama’s post about Power the Polls. “I knew there were going to be a lot of people who were worried [about voting] due to COVID, and I’ve seen that when I’ve gone to vote, it is a lot of older people volunteering as poll workers, so I felt like I needed to do my part as a young person to go and help make the process as efficient as possible,” she said.
Vogue|Oct. 28, 2020

A Philadelphia City Council bill would ban police stopping drivers for minor violations
A proposed bill would prevent police in Philadelphia from stopping drivers just for making minor traffic violations, such as having a broken tail light. Professor of Criminal Justice Jerry Ratcliffe believes the bill might do some good, but he also understands why police officers might have misgivings. “This really is an experiment,” he said. “If we go through with this as a city, it could go either way.”
WHYY|Oct. 27, 2020

—Edirin Oputu