Throughout the unprecedented times and ongoing uncertainty of 2020, The Forum has been here reporting on it all for the Westminster College community. So now we proudly present to you our top 10 posts of the year, determined by our readers’ engagement.
Stay tuned through 2021 and let us know what your favorite post of the year was.
10. Westminster students go viral on TikTok after dancing video
By: Shaylie Johnson
April 21, 2020
Westminster College students Brandon Warr, Brandon Willardson and Daniel Quesenberry became ‘TikTok famous’ seemingly overnight after posting choreographed dances to the social media platform.
“We were just hanging out one night and coming up with things to do because that’s usually how it goes when you’re hanging out with the boys,” said Warr, a junior majoring in business finance.
9. Religious inclusion is left out of diversity conversations, some students say
By: Gwenna Salazar
March 5, 2020
Westminster College prides itself on its diversity efforts. But some students say that within those efforts of being more inclusive to all genders, races and sexual orientations, religion is left out of the conversation.
“When we hear something that is out of the norm or unconventional or different from the majoritarian religion and culture, we tend to have assumptions and questions,” said Kehaolani Pati, coordinator of student involvement, leadership and orientation. “In regard specifically to faith-based groups, I think that happens all around us all the time.”
8. The Westminster Feminist Club presents the annual Vagina Monologues production
The Westminster Feminist Club presents the annual Vagina Monologues production — an event to inform audience members about the reality for some people of self expression, body positivity and abuse through raw emotion and humor.
As the performers worked on the Vagina Monologues, they created a safe space for any identity, said Jen Turner (they/them), a performer in ‘My Vagina was My Village’.
“There was a community of people who were really respectful about identity,” Turner said. “It’s also just nice to be in a place where there are so many survivors and you don’t feel like you have to hide.”
100% of ticket sales from this year’s Vagina Monologues are donated to the Salt Lake City Rape Recovery Center.
7. Administration removes 8 full-time faculty positions ahead of Fall semester
By: Cami Mondeaux
June 23, 2020
Westminster College removed eight full-time faculty positions as part of ongoing efforts to balance the college’s budget, according to an email President Beth Dobkin sent to faculty and staff. The positions removed were held by faculty members in different disciplines and with “varying lengths of service” to the institution.
The president announced the elimination of positions to faculty and staff in the beginning of June, noting the reductions will bring the college closer to the desired student-faculty ratio. The list of professors who were let go was not released to The Forum as the college said it does not release personnel information publicly.
6. Hurricane-force winds sweep through SLC, Westminster closes campus
By: James Carson & Cami Mondeaux
September 8, 2020
Westminster College closed its campus early Sept. 8 after hurricane-force winds swept through Salt Lake City— causing power outages and debris throughout city streets. Hours later, Mayor Erin Mendenhall signed an emergency declaration in response.
Winds reaching nearly 99 mph ripped through Salt Lake and the surrounding areas, knocking over trees, power lines, semi-trucks and outdoor furniture.
5. Skateboarding becomes more inclusive as women create community groups, say Westminster skateboarders
By: Cat Taylor
March 30, 2020
As a kid, Kyra Teply dreamed of surfing as she watched Lilo & Stitch in her living room. However, there were two problems: she didn’t know how to surf and she didn’t live by the ocean.
To resolve these setbacks, she put herself in front of her television set and pretended to surf on a skateboard. Once Teply was old enough, she took her skateboard off the carpet and onto the streets.
Thanks to professional skateboarders like Lizzie Armanto, Lacey Baker and Allysha Le, women in skateboarding have recently come into the sport’s spotlight.
This is reflected locally, where women skateboarders at Westminster College have created a community through their love of the sport, moving into the spotlight in Salt Lake City.
4. Westminster Dean of Students announces transfer to Oregon school for Fall semester
By: Cami Mondeaux
June 9, 2020
Westminster College Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs Karnell McConnell-Black announced June 8 he would be transferring to serve as the vice president for student life at Reed College, located in Portland, Oregon beginning in the Fall semester.
“The heart of my experience at Westminster has been the opportunity to engage in your day-to-day lives,” he said in an email sent out to students. “Serving as an advocate and support system in both good and challenging times, makes me appreciate the little things in life.”
3. Administration announces graduation will be postponed
By: Cami Mondeaux
March 17, 2020
President Beth Dobkin sent out an email March 16 announcing Westminster College graduation will be postponed from its original date, May 9. This comes after recent recommendations from the CDC to limit public group gatherings to 50 people, and recommendations from the White House to limit to 10 people.
“I understand the anxiety and disappointment of having to postpone this milestone,” Dobkin said in an email sent out to students. “Seniors and graduate students will have earned the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and cross that stage in front of friends and family.”
2. Westminster postpones in-person classes until end of month
By: Cami Mondeaux
March 12, 2020
Westminster College administration announced it will be postponing in-person classes until Friday, March 27. The school will reassess conditions after that date to make further decisions.
“Although our small classes and compact campus give us flexibility in responding to the outbreak, recent reports suggest that the coronavirus is likely to spread widely and rapidly,” said President Beth Dobkin in an email sent to the school. “We are increasingly concerned about the ways that our families, friends and loved ones may be affected.”
1. ‘I never got any closure’ — Seniors react to finishing college online
By: Cami Mondeaux
March 19, 2020
Graduating seniors at Westminster College have differing opinions on the impact of moving classes online, with some unsure if it will affect them graduating on time.
The school announced March 18 it would finish Spring semester online until the end of May Term to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I don’t believe the college closure will impact me getting my degree,” said Chloe Davis, a senior studying sports management, in an email. “But everything is changing hour by hour, so I’m waiting to see where we’ll go from here.”