A year, in short: The best of The State Press’ 2019 coverage

The State Press staff revisits some of the year's best stories, photos and more

As we continue welcoming the new year, we're permitted an opportunity to look back at 2019. 

This last year was a big one for ASU.

In it we saw furthered advancements to the University, from more construction to cutting-edge research and partnerships. Throughout the months, we watched as paramount and constantly-evolving topics such as foreign affairs, immigration reform and an impending election all made respective marks on our campus in one way or another. 

From on-campus protests to bowl game wins, we’ve been at the frontlines, breaking down the news in text, photographs, videos and more.

Aside from being some of our most noteworthy, these pieces were some of our favorites to report, edit and share. They resonated with, inspired and intrigued the ASU community, and by default, us as well. 

The census says I'm white, but I'm not | Farah Eltohamy

In this beautiful essay about the delicate battles surrounding identity and perception, Farah Eltohamy discusses the inconsistencies in the census racial and ethnic categories and the lasting impressions these leave on affected communities. Weaved in between vivid personal details and eye-opening statistics, Eltohamy touches on Eurocentric ideals and of course, the “abomination that is Trader Joe’s chocolate hummus.”

Poor leadership, unresolved claims taint an ASU theatre program | Grace Oldham

The culmination of months-long reporting, writing and editing comes to fruition with an investigation into a master’s in theatre program at ASU where some students said professors crossed professional boundaries, creating hurdles in their private, professional and academic lives. Filled with poignant details, author Grace Oldham’s thorough and refined storytelling shines in a piece that keeps readers engrossed with each word.

"It's safe to say that Field is a very important asset to the Sun Devil program, and when he arrived in Tempe, he brought his recruiting and coaching skillsets with him," writes Klatsky.

The Field connection: How Mike Field helped shape the ASU hockey program | Avery Klatsky

Surpassing milestones. Setting records. Stunning crowds. ASU hockey’s rapid rise has taken the team and Sun Devil fans by storm, and The State Press has followed every step of the way. Read along as Klatsky dives behind the scenes and shines a light on the impactful relationships found on and off the ice.

Connection ends here | Joseph Perez

Take a look at the lack of internet connectivity on tribal lands and how it affects Indigenous students with this story by Joseph Perez for State Press Magazine. Skillfully written and interwoven with moving characters, urgency and hope collide in Perez's piece as he explores the obstacles Indigenous students must overcome on and off tribal land as they pursue higher education at ASU.

Gallery: The Sun Devils clash against the Utah Utes | Ben Moffat

Find yourself at the front of the field with our best photos from Salt Lake City during the ASU v. Utah football game in October 2019. Moffat captures some of the rainy night's most thrilling moments: touchdowns, team reactions and everything in between.

Protesters rebuke apologies from members of College Republicans United | Isaac Windes

This piece, one in a compelling series by Isaac Windes about ASU’s College Republican’s United, covers a “fiery and profane” protest that took place as members of the splinter political group apologized for racist comments that were uncovered by The State Press and the Phoenix New Times in months prior. Protesters called the apologies, which were later said to be staged, “a PR stunt to attempt to rehabilitate their image," writes Windes.

My earbuds broke, and the silence was deafening | Camden Beal

In a world in which many of us find reprieve by drowning everything out with the sounds of literally anything else, author Camden Beal strikes a chord in many as he eloquently recounts his experience during a grueling week without earbuds, the hollow silence that followed and the freedom he found as a result. 

Opinion: The ASU community needs activism to create change | Alexia Isais

This column by Alexia Isais encourages students to be the change agents they wish to see, calling activism "an essential part of ASU's history." More people engaging in issues they are passionate about is what the community needs, she writes, adding, "More importantly, activism gets communities thinking in terms of collective struggle — meaning it empowers crowds, not individuals, by uniting people of all backgrounds in a cohesive movement."

State Press Play: How effective is Tempe's Orbit system? | Balin Overstolz-McNair 

ASU's largest campus is nestled in Tempe, a city always buzzing with activity from seemingly never-ending construction, electric scooters and pedestrian-filled sidewalks. Listen as podcaster Balin Overstolz-McNair examines the issues and effectiveness of a Tempe transportation staple for many: the Orbit Neighborhood Circulators.

The tangled net of ASU men's basketball, China, the NBA and politics | Jeffrey Horst

Athletics and politics often collide, and this story by Jeffrey Horst delves into their intertwined intricacies at the University. The ASU men’s basketball team became involved in the larger controversy between the NBA and Hong Kong after they traveled to China in November. And while the team only spoke about the educational benefits of a trip to China, others argued that “China’s authoritarian practices will undoubtedly creep into American academia and the NCAA” if similar trips continue. 

Here's why Kurt Volker's testimony before Congress could be impactful | Andrew Howard and Adrienne Dunn

From late November through October, The State Press was following former McCain Institute director Kurt Volker’s involvement in the Trump-Ukraine conflict, which ultimately led to President Trump’s impeachment by the House. Read along as Arizona political consultants spoke about the significance Volker’s testimony could have and what they expected to come next with this story by Adrienne Dunn and Andrew Howard.

Video: Urban Sol 2019 | Drake Presto

We watched as the local urban hip-hop community gathered under bright lights, and The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts held one of their biggest events of the year. Witness the festivities unfold as videographer Drake Presto documents dance battles and rapper performances galore.

ASU research shows fish from Phoenix's urban ponds and lakes may be unsafe | Luke Chatham

From diving (pun intended) into water legislation and possible hazards, Luke Chatham highlights ASU research that found fish in Arizona’s urban lakes and ponds may be contaminated and non-consumable in this article. “The team found that there were multiple organic contaminants and other metals that could potentially be dangerous,” writes Chatham.

ASU abandoned most of its operational sustainability goals | Molly Stellino

In a gripping examination into ASU's sustainability objectives, Stellino writes for State Press Magazine about how the University made a lot of promises to go green and hasn’t delivered on almost any of them. Instead, she writes, it has "quietly extended deadlines, modified and replaced goals, or gave up on nearly all of them."

Trial begins in the case of ASU teacher charged with harboring undocumented immigrants | Brenna Toshner

Dating back to May 2019, this story by Brenna Toshner marked the beginning of former ASU faculty associate Scott Warren’s trial for harboring undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The State Press’ coverage of Warren continued for most of the year as we documented his first trial, a campus visit and his second trial, where he was ultimately found not guilty.

Was there something we missed in 2019? Let us know by emailing editor.statepress@gmail.com. Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today

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