By Sophia Lyons
From around campus, Chancellor Sheri Everts announced a significant increase in testing App State students, as reported by The Appalachian. Students living on-campus in dorms with active clusters are required to get tested for COVID-19. Because about 70% of student COVID cases are in students living off campus, AppHealthCare is also partnering with the largest student housing complexes to test students for free. Free pop-up testing is also available every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in the Rivers Street Parking Deck. The chancellor’s announcement did not include any logistics related to the number of tests that will be administered.
Locally, App State’s Faculty Senate Chair Michael Behrents was appointed chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections after previous chair Jane Hodges stepped down. Behrents was sworn in as chair on October 8. Behrents has been teaching in the App State Department of History for 12 years. He also runs two blogs, one written in French about American politics and one written in English about French politics, and regularly contributes to several French publications about American political thought. Behrents will retain his position as Faculty Senate Chair as he moves into his new role on the Board of Elections.
In national news, the New York Times reports misinformation on Facebook is more popular now than it was in 2016. According to research from the German Marshall Fund Digital, Facebook likes, shares and comments on articles from news outlets that regularly publish misleading or untrue information tripled from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2020. The growth rate of likes, shares and comments on content published by false or misleading content producers also exceeded interactions with outlets the researchers called legitimate journalistic outlets, such as Reuters, Associated Press and Bloomberg.