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Afternoon News Update, 3/15/21

By Zachary Masters

In on-campus news, freshman Appalachian State SGA senators Ben Negin and Connor Ranes hope to implement a new LGBTQ protections bill that would allow for students to use their preferred names on all personal information used at the University. The Appalachian reports that in a statement made by Ranes, “It would be a step in the right direction to allow preferred names on AppCards, but it’s still so devastating if your legal name is called at graduation and you don’t want that.” Since the bill is still in the writing process, the exact date of when the legislation will be voted on is currently unknown. However, Negin feels that even discussing the bill is a step in the right direction for trans students to have their identities respected on campus.

In local news, the program director for Watauga County Schools received the distinguished service award for his work involving children with disabilities. Dubbed “Dr. Mike Marcela Santa Claus,” The Appalachian reports that Dr. Marcela was recognized on account of his efforts to broaden the support services that schools provide to special needs children, with such services including transportation, counseling, evaluations, nursing and personal care assistant support. In a statement ‘Dr. Marcela Santa’ made, “I do have a very firm belief that what a teacher does in the classroom is always going to be infinitely more important than anything I ever do in a day.”

Nationally, NPR reports that President Biden is mobilizing resources to help process a steadily growing number of unaccompanied migrant children attempting to cross the southern US border. With the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, President Biden hopes to process as many children currently being held in warehouse-like detention facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection over the next 90-days. The current crisis has only served to further divide legislators along party lines, as both Democratic and Republican Representatives and Senators blame the surge in migrants held at Border Patrol Facilities on their respective political opposition.

This afternoon's weather comes from Expect to see intermittent periods of rain showers with the possibility of a wintery mix going into the evening. Prepare for winds ranging from 5-15 MPH with a High of 45 degrees and a low of 33 degrees.

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