Editorial: Welcome to Spring 2021!

As we begin a new semester at the University of Baltimore, I’d like to take a moment to welcome you back and keep you informed about changes here at The Sting.

“Zoom University: Part III” is now officially underway, and for many of us, the prospect of being stuck at home another 15 weeks seems dreadful, albeit familiar. That being said, as vaccine distribution continues, it’s very possible that we might be able to go back to the classroom by the fall. All we can do is hope.

During the break, The Sting has gone through a bit of a personnel shift. Leonard Robinson, who has served as editor-in-chief since 2019 has stepped into the role of editor-at-large. The university owes Leonard a sincere debt of gratitude for his steadfast efforts over the last two years as The Sting went 100% digital, and rebranded itself from The UB Post. Under his leadership, The Sting has been able to maintain the proud tradition of reporting and commentary we’ve had since 1933.

With Leonard stepping into a new role, I will be stepping into the role of Editor-in-Chief. I realize I have some big shoes to fill, but Leonard and I have been working tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition.


Although the University is operating remotely, we are still committed, now more than ever, to covering the news that impacts you. We need your help in our mission to provide ambitious reporting, sharp commentary, and in-depth coverage. As always, feel free to send tips to ubsting@gmail.com, or fill out the form on our “About Us” page.

Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Tony Sheaffer is editor-in-chief for The Sting.

Weekly Roundup: 16 November 2020

Joe Biden, who is projected to be the 46th President of the United States of America

There’s just about a month left before the Fall 2020 semester ends, and as we head towards Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to thank our readers and our staff who make this publication possible. Thank you and stay safe as you make plans for the holiday season… and best of luck for a good end to your semester.

Now onto the news –

It’s Election Night. Here’s How The Sting staffers are spending theirs.

Just before the polls closed in Maryland, The Sting staff shared their plans for election. night. For many, it involved trying to deal with high anxiety in healthy (and not-so-healthy) ways. For the staff, as election day turned into election week, we managed to pull through just fine.

Honeycomb Hideout: Handling Friends While Social Distancing

Honeycomb Hideout provided some advice on dealing with friends who may not be taking the pandemic as seriously as they should be. For people who don’t have preexisting conditions or know someone who does, it can be difficult for them to comprehend why some need to adhere to social distancing more strictly than others. HCHO offered some great insight on ways to spend time with others while staying physically separate.

Thursdays with the Editor: Across the USA, voters say yes to drugs!

Editor-in-chief Leonard Robinson chronicled the many states which pushed forward legislation legalizing various drugs on Election Day. In addition to the slew of states that have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana usage, Washington D.C. decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms and Oregon decriminalized all drugs.

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., is elected 46th president of the United States

Probably the biggest news of the last two weeks was that Joe Biden was projected by the Associated Press to become the 46th President of the United States. Kamala Harris made history as well, become the First African American, South Asian and Female Vice-President elect in US history.

History Club – Discussion with Dr. Daniel Immerwahr

On November 10, the History Club hosted a discussion with Dr. Daniel Immerwahr of Northwestern University to discuss his book, How to Hide An Empire: Telling the Story of the Greater United States. You can view the insightful discussion here.

Tony Sheaffer is managing editor for The Sting.

Weekly Roundup – 2 November 2020

Election Day is (almost) finally upon us. Though many have been voting over the past month or so, tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of an election cycle that has quite literally been the most ridiculous in a lifetime. Though we likely won’t know the results tomorrow night, we can take some solace in the fact that come Wednesday, Facebook and Instagram won’t be harping on us to vote anymore (at least for the next four years).

In the frenzy of midterm exams, we took a bit of a hiatus last week, so we’ll be “rounding up” the last two weeks in this column.

Onto the news –

Campus

Tatiana Huang tackles the dreaded “Zoom fatigue” phenomena in “Zooming Through the End of the World.” Huang writes about the gracious professors who have accepted the new reality of the pandemic, and those who think “that the world isn’t literally on fire.” Whether or not you’re feeling “Zoom fatigue” too, this one is a must read.

On last week’s Honeycomb Hideout, our advice columnist shared some thoughts on the stress of the quickly approaching holiday season. The holidays are usually a stressful time regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic. With many facing financial hardships because of Covid-19, we provide some advice on how to deal with the season, even if you can’t afford gifts.

I wrote about Bruce Springsteen’s new record Letter to You in last week’s Friday Groove column. The album, Springsteen’s 20th, was probably my favorite album he’s done in nearly 30 years. Springsteen also released a film on the Apple TV+ streaming service to coincide with the LP.

On Sunday, UB Police Officer William Evans passed away at age 45. Evans was playing basketball while off duty when he suffered a fatal heart attack. UB President Kurt Schmoke informed the UB community via email on Monday.

Tony Sheaffer is managing editor for The Sting.

Weekly Roundup: 12 October 2020

Photo: Esquire

For many, week 7 of the 15-week semester means midterms. As if midterms weren’t enough, the cacophony that is 2020 only adds to our agitation.

Last week was a little lighter on news from our end, but it certainly wasn’t around the nation.

Here’s what happened this week –

From The Sting

Sierra Ferrare writes about the SGA’s recent resolutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Juneteenth on the academic calendar. SGA members say that the resolutions help recognize a more accurate version of history. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is being celebrated today in place of Christopher Columbus Day in many cities around the country as well.

Honeycomb Hideout gave advice this week on what to do when you find yourself unable to grieve after the loss of someone you weren’t really close with. HH recommends that in this situation, while you may be unable to grieve for the lost loved one, you can still be there for others who are grieving.

On Wednesday, The Sting editor-in-chief Leonard Robinson will be participating in a panel titled, “College Newsrooms Serving Local Communities,” which will feature student journalists and recent graduates from Auburn University, Boston University, and University of California at Berkeley. If you’re interested in hearing from Leonard and the other panelists, feel free to join in.

National

President Donald Trump was released from the hospital last week after being admitted the week prior with Covid-19 symptoms. When Trump returned to the White House, he took to Twitter again to downplay the severity of the virus. To add to the ridiculousness, Trump removed his mask when he walked back into the White House with people around. Later in the week, Trump proclaimed he was “immune” from the virus.

On October 7, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris met for the one and only vice-presidential debate of the 2020 general election. Like most Americans, I think the only thing I can remember from the debate was the fly that was on Mike Pence’s head for over two minutes.

It’s worth noting that over the years, artists would include flies in portraits to signify corruption or neglect of duties. The practice began in the renaissance when artists would paint flies on corrupt church officials. Just a fun fact.

Tony Sheaffer is managing editor for The Sting.

Weekly Roundup – October 5

Per the usual for 2020, this past week was not a slow week in terms of the news cycle. 

No matter how crazy the news cycle, I am always reminding our talented team of writers to take care of themselves and those around them that they love. What does that mean? Working to find balance, embracing the good moments, resting (as I write this at 12:30 in the morning, it’s a struggle that I have), and as my friend, Rabbi Dan Epstein, the chief rabbi of George Washington University Hillel said, “We all must learn that the world is no longer running on schedule and maybe it never did and we’re now just realizing that.” 

This doesn’t just apply to those who eagerly labor behind the “walls” of the newsroom of The Sting, but to our readers, who we think of throughout the entire process. 

Now, onto the news – 

Campus 

Staff writer Tatiana Huang dispels the myth that an earlier hiring freeze impacted student workers. “Federal Work Study funds were allocated for a variety of positions including those at the media lab, library, and campus store,” writes Huang. “However, one of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been decreased federal funding to the university, and consequently, fewer jobs.” 

Between the Merrick School of Business and the Liberal Arts and Policy Building, there is something new: a rainbow alley. A campaign promise of SGA President Daniel Khoshkepazi, the alley was completed late last week after a few failed attempts in the rain. More in-depth coverage from The Sting can be expected later this week. 

Lastly, I will be speaking at the Online News Association annual conference via Zoom on Wednesday, October 14. . The panel titled, “College Newsrooms Serving Local Communities”, will feature student journalists and recent graduates from Auburn University, Boston University, and University of California at Berkeley. The panel will focus on diversity, college newsrooms filling the gaps in community reporting, and insights into how to improve more student journalists staying as journalist post-college. It’s a very exciting discussion that can be viewed here. My thoughts after the panel will be published here at The Sting. 

Lifestyle 

Hoodie (or sweater, if you prefer) season has arrived, writes Jeff Dominguez in The Color Theory, his biweekly fashion column. “We are closing in on a pretty shitty year,” writes Dominguez. “So wear your sweatshirts and stay comfy in your favorite fits for the season.” 

Tony Sheaffer reviews Tickets to My Downfall in his weekly column, Friday Groove. “ I enjoyed most of the songs, but felt that most of the songs with a collaboration could’ve done without the collaboration part,” writes Sheaffer. “Halsey’s appearance on “forget me too” made me press skip, but I could live with other guest appearances.” 

Opinion 

Tony Sheaffer, The Sting managing editor, takes his beloved Baltimore Orioles to bat in “The Bums of Baltimore?”, a column published last week. 

Sheaffer argues that if he were to bestow the title of “dem bums”, which was once how a New York City cabbie described the Brooklyn Dodgers to a World Telegram writer, upon any team, it’s “Easily, the Baltimore Orioles.” 

Baltimore 

NPR published a compelling review of “Charm City Kings” highlighting bike culture in Baltimore. Angel Manuel Soto, the filmmaker, tells NPR that Baltimore bike culture is, “one of the most exhilarating and emotional spectacles of talent that I have ever seen, streetwise.”

Maryland’s coronavirus positivity rate has jumped back to 3%, as of Sunday. Community-based testing has also fallen, reports Jayne Miller of WBAL-TV.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Washington Football Team on Sunday. 

National 

President Donald Trump along with First Lady Melania Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Friday. Their diagnosis came after White House advisor Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday. Numerous people within the orbit of the President have tested positive, such as Trump’s former counselor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Governor and advisor Chris Christie (R ), Utah Senator Mike Lee, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, and North Carolina Senator Thom Thillis, all of whom are Republicans. Attorney General Bill Barr will self-quarantine for a few days out of precaution. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have tested negative

It has been speculated that the Rose Garden announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the replacement for the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the major spreading event. Barrett has tested negative. 

President Trump is being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 
Both former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife have tested negative after being exposed to President Trump last week for the debate in Cleveland.

Weekly Sting Roundup: 28 September 2020

Some weeks are slow news weeks. I don’t think we’ve had a slow news week in 2020. The past week is no exception.

Each week, members of The Sting’s editorial team put together a “synopsis” of what happened in the week prior, including local and national headlines, as well as goings-on around campus.

Got something that should be in the Weekly Roundup? Let us know by shooting us an email here with “Weekly Roundup” in the subject line.

Now onto the news –

National

Trump’s Tax Returns Finally Released

Perhaps the biggest story of the week came yesterday, when The New York Times revealed that President Donald Trump only paid taxes in five of the last 15 years. In 2016, he paid just $750 to the IRS.

Since his candidacy announcement in 2015, Trump has been quite adamant about keeping his financial records private. Critics of Trump say these newly-released documents will hurt his standing with many working-class Republicans with the presidential election just over a month away.

Amy Coney Barrett Nominated to Supreme Court

On Saturday, President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.

The nomination of Barrett was expected, with many media outlets breaking the news on Friday. Barrett is likely to pass the Senate confirmation process easily. If confirmed, Barrett will be President Trump’s third SCOTUS nominee in just his first term.

A staunch conservative, Barrett would give the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority, potentially putting LGBT rights, Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy, though The Sting editor-in-chief Leonard Robinson believes that Justices Roberts and Gorsuch will side with liberals on these issues.

Local

Coronavirus in Maryland

Maryland’s coronavirus numbers showed significant improvement over the past week, with the Maryland Department of Health reporting a record low positivity rate of 2.5% for the first time. Johns Hopkins, who calculates the positivity rate with a different formula, saw their percentage dip below 5% as well. This comes roughly three weeks after Governor Larry Hogan further loosened restrictions on businesses, moving into stage 3 of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

The Hapless Orioles Aren’t So Hapless Anymore.

The Baltimore Orioles finished up their shortened season last night with a 7-5 victory over the Blue Jays last night. Baseball was one of the first sports to return in the COVID-era, and the Orioles were expected to finish in dead last following disappointing performances over the past two seasons. Somehow, the Orioles managed to finish in fourth place in the American League East with a somewhat respectable 25-35 record on the 60-game season.

From The Sting

Supreme Court fiasco brings important lesson for us all

Editor-in-chief Leonard Robinson wrote an excellent piece memorializing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and analyzing the SCOTUS confirmation and court battles ahead. As mentioned above, Robinson writes that the crisis we now find ourselves in is a result of years of hypocrisy by both major political parties.

UB Hires New VP of Enrollment, Roxie Shabazz

Staff writer Kopper Boyd gave some insight on UB’s new Vice-President of Enrollment, including her background and what she brings to the table. Coming from the University of Hawai’i, Roxie Shabazz is looking forward to helping UB improve, with the pandemic threatening to hurt schools’ enrollment for years to come.

Tony Sheaffer is managing editor for The Sting.