News Briefs: September 2020

Todd Montana resigns after eight years

By Taylor Viles – Sports Editor

In late August, the Athletic Department announced on its website women’s basket- ball head coach Todd Montana was step- ping down. He held three roles with ath- letics over eight years, first hired as Sports Information Director in 2012, progressing to the role of Head Coach in 2014. On top of his basketball duties, he held the posi- tion of assistant athletic director.

Montana was the longest-serving head coach for women’s basketball. During his tenure, he racked 48 overall wins making him the winningest coach of the program.

Patriots 5th Quarter man, Bob Lobel

By Taylor Viles & Josh Wolmer – Sports Editor & 1851 Staff

On Sept. 17, Bob Lobel joined Carrie Berger’s COM231: Sports Communication class to talk about COVID-19’s effect on sports. Lobel is the host of weekly programs, Sports Final and Patriots 5th Quarter. During the class discussion, Lobel discussed the industry and some of his favorite moments from his long career. He didn’t begin his career in broadcasting until he was 26 years old, giving hope to aspiring broadcasters in college because of the head start they already have on Lobel.

The talk eventually opened up to questions from the class where Lobel made sure to emphasize the fun he had in the job. He said to never be too serious and enjoy yourself.

Campus events to address racism

By Katie Peters – Editor-in-Chief

The Donahue Institute is hosting many events this semester that focus on diversity and inclusion. Starting September 30, Director of The Donahue Institute Jesse Tauriac will be hosting monthly Diversity, Equity and Inclusion forums for community members to speak about their experiences with diversity, equity and inclusion. Participants will collaborate to create programs and initiatives that help make the community more inclusive. Other events include Latinx Heritage Month celebrations, Indegenous People’s Day and other events focusing on diversity and inclusion. For more information, contact Jesse Tauriac at or Anne Mullaney at

Friends, Family and Alumni Weekend postponed

By Claire CrittendonEditor-in-Chief

On September 17, Director of Student Activities and Orientation Jenny Granger emailed the community to state the beloved Friends, Family and Alumni Week- end will not be happening this year. Due to federal and state COVID-19 guidelines, this event has been postponed until further notices.

Student Activities is planning alternative digital programs and has hope to proceed in the Spring if possible. Updates will be delivered as necessary.

Spring semester decision deadline announced

By Katie PetersEditor-in-Chief

On September 25, President Michael Alexander sent an email to undergraduate students regarding their options of attendance for the spring semester. The only students able to study online for the spring will be those already studying online this fall. A limited number of online and commuter students may be able to move back to campus, given campus remains safe for students to reside.

Space will still be reserved for quarantine and isolation. Students who are currently studying remotely or commuting that wish to change their option for spring have until October 9 to contact The Office of Residential Life ( to request the change.

How to get through classes in a pandemic

By Ruth Kehinde & Holly FeolaDigital Editor & Opinions Editor

Student staying safe while learning remotely.
Photo courtesy of

Since COVID-19 hit, the world has changed in various ways especially within the education system. Students now have to learn how to stay focused within a pandemic while juggling the challenges of online classes, jobs and social lives. Here are some helpful tips for students who are taking classes in these unfamiliar times: 

Continue reading “How to get through classes in a pandemic”

Black Lives Matter here and everywhere

By Katie Peters, Claire Crittendon & Meghan CarrollEditors-in-Chief & News Editor

A Black Lives Matter sign sits in an Auburndale resident’s front yard. Photo by Katie Peters

On May 25, the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of then-police officer Derek Chauvin set off nationwide protests, bringing to light racial in- justice and police brutality that Black Americans face. Black Lives Matter (BLM) was established in 2013 following the deaths of two Black men killed by police, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter here and everywhere”

President Alexander’s address to the community

Posted by Claire Crittendon – Co-Editor-in-Chief

On June 1, members of the Lasell community received the following email, “A Statement from Lasell University President Michael B. Alexander,” from Henry Pugh of behalf of President Michael Alexander, regarding the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.

“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Member of the Lasell Community,

Once again we find our nation embroiled in turmoil by the senseless killing of a Black man by those who are pledged to serve and protect us. The death of George Floyd – as graphic and horrible as it is – would be enough to cause us to shout and protest its injustice, and the underlying inequities in our society that are at its foundation. 

Over these last few months, the extreme disruption of the lives of people across the planet has magnified those inequities.  The corona virus has caused more than 365,000 deaths worldwide and more than 100,000 in the United States; 40 million people in our country have lost their jobs in just a few weeks, and millions more fear for their health and their economic well-being. But the effects of the virus have not been equally distributed.  COVID-19 has disproportionately infected and caused the deaths of people of color, people of lesser means, people without health insurance, people with cognitive issues, and the elderly.  In other words, those already marginalized in our society have felt the brunt of the pandemic in extreme proportion.

It is no wonder that our streets are aflame. At a time when we should be coming together to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us, we remain a nation divided.  Leaders who should be uniting us, providing both solace and a vision of a more perfect union on the other side of this crisis, are instead sowing the seeds of enmity, allowing us to approach the precipice of sustained social upheaval.

This moment begs us not only to reflect on broader societal inequalities, but also to examine the ways in which inequalities exist within our own community. Lasell University is not immune to these problems. The move to remote learning this spring, while overall as successful as one might hope for, nevertheless exposed inequities that exist within higher education, and therefore within Lasell.  Some students did not have the kind of computers that would make remote learning easy; even more could not afford Internet or Wi-Fi access; others were forced to attend online classes from noisy homes crowded with family members who were also confined to the house.  We worked hard to help these students, but we would be disingenuous not to recognize that they started from behind and had to overcome more obstacles to succeed.  It is a testament to their fortitude that so many did complete the semester successfully. At Lasell, we are determined to employ our resources and creativity to make sure every student has access to the modern tools of learning, no matter where they are.

Another example is the cost of course materials. Students with fewer resources have long struggled to pay the high price of textbooks. They would often resort to buying older used editions, or sharing with others, or taking reserve copies out of the library.  These strategies put them at a disadvantage relative to students who could afford the books.  When the virus struck and sent students home, these students no longer had access to books on reserve in the library, making it even more difficult for them to complete their studies.  For this reason, we are strongly advocating for the transition to open educational resources (OER) that would be available to all students through Canvas without additional cost.

Both of these problems – access to technology and the cost of course materials – tend to affect disproportionately students of color. These may seem trivial matters relative to the death of George Floyd and the ensuing violence in our cities.  I think they are related, for what better way do we have to overcome the ills of our society and provide an opportunity for all to share in the fruits of our nation’s wealth and good fortune than to provide a complete and quality education for people the world over.

I am old enough to have lived through previous episodes of social upheaval in our country.  I have seen us endure periods when hope was in short supply, and then adjust as a people to pass progressive legislation, make meaningful (though incomplete) progress, and strengthen our social fabric. We can do it again. Here are some of the things we need to do.

  • Provide a quality education to all people, irrespective of their economic circumstances, race, religion, identity, or where they were born.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to improve their lives for themselves and for their children. Education is the surest path to that opportunity.  It first requires the collective will to fix our public schools; we know how, but we have not been willing to make it a national priority. It then requires us to reduce the cost of postsecondary education so everyone who wants it can pursue a higher education or vocational training.
  • Provide healthcare to everyone in our country, no matter who they are.  It is a disgrace that the richest country on earth allows tens of millions of its inhabitants (many of them children) to exist without health insurance or access to adequate care.
  • Reduce the extreme inequities in income and wealth that have developed in our country over the last 50 years. This problem is at the root of many of our social ills, including disproportionate access to education and healthcare.
  • Prepare for the oncoming tsunami of aging Americans who will need housing, healthcare, and a life worth living.  Whole societies in other parts of the world are built around respect and care for elders.  We are woefully unprepared for the huge number of low- and middle-income seniors who will live well into their 80’s and 90’s.  A lack of resources allocated to this problem will once again weigh most heavily on people of color and the economically disadvantaged.
  • Protect our planet. We have seen how unprepared we were to handle a crisis of global proportions in the attack of the coronavirus. Worldwide droughts in areas on which we depend for food, rising sea levels that flood our coastal cities, and changes in our atmosphere will tax our resilience and resolve even more, if we do not take immediate steps to mitigate them.

What do all these problems have in common?  They all exacerbate the lagging living standards of those who start with less, of those who are reviled for their beliefs, of those attacked for whom they love, of those who are born in one part of the world or another, or those whose skin happens to have a darker hue.

We must expunge these disparities from our society and from our institutions.  Until then, we can expect that the criminal malfeasance of a police officer in one city will set off paroxysms of outrage and violence across the nation, rather than be perceived as the despicable act of one person.

One measure of justice is how well a society treats its most vulnerable members. The vile death of George Floyd, and the upheaval of the last few days and the last few months, tells us that, as far as we have come, we still have a long ways to go to achieve justice for all.

Michael B. Alexander”

A letter to the Class of 2020: Professor Raye

Dear Class of 2020 – 

You are a dynamic, fearless and resilient group that copes with adversity and challenges with a “hell ya, bring it on” attitude.  You have demonstrated your ability to face changes, improvements, adjustments, and even a complete disruption of your education with grace and strength.  When we moved from small departments to reorganization with the creation of schools, you nimbly pivoted and adapted to the new structure, ensuring that it did not erode our small class size and close faculty/student relationships.  When we renamed ourselves from a college to a university, you took it in stride, buying new gear and new stickers to show your deep Laser pride.  When archrivals Mount Ida and Newbury College folded, you opened your arms and hearts, welcoming those students and helping them adjust to the Laser community.  And when COVID-19 dismantled your senior spring and our final weeks together, you stood up, came together and refused to go quietly without a fight for what you believed in and wanted as a class.  You are a powerful group with powerful voices.  You are true leaders and role models on our campus and you will be missed.   Continue reading “A letter to the Class of 2020: Professor Raye”

Paws For A Cause & LU designers present a therapy dog fashion show

By Abi Brown – 1851 Staff

The School of Fashion has teamed up with Coordinator of the Pet Therapy Program Patti Betti to produce a therapy dog fashion show/fundraiser that will benefit the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center at Lahey Hospital And Medical Center in Burlington set for October 2020.

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Continue reading “Paws For A Cause & LU designers present a therapy dog fashion show”

A letter to the Class of 2020: Professor Kinsky

To the 2020 Lasell University graduates:

You started your journey at Lasell College, as eager, curious, possibly nervous, young students. You might not have known how strong, flexible and resilient you were back then. The last four years have proven these qualities in all of you. You have succeeded through many challenges, and overcome many obstacles. You have grown up in so many ways, through life experiences both good and bad, happy and sad, friendships, wins, losses and of course, education. You may have had new experiences with travel, internships, modeling, or industry-related connected learning experiences. Maybe you experienced snow for the first time…and the second, third, etc.  Maybe you have formed special connections with peers and faculty that challenged you and made you question things because of their different ideas, beliefs and perspectives. Now, four years later, on the other side of this journey, you leave as young adults and graduates of Lasell University.  Continue reading “A letter to the Class of 2020: Professor Kinsky”

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