Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Winter Break in Review

SU Chapel Vandalized

Last Tuesday around 9 p.m., just an hour before the Chapel of St. Ignatius closed up for the night, two individuals entered Seattle University’s most cherished building. Theft and vandalization ensued, Public Safety told the Spectator.
The damage, according to Public Safety daytime supervisor Josh Halbert, was not insignificant, but the custodial crew had the Chapel up and running Wednesday morning.

Exact estimates about the damage are not yet available, but Halbert said that glass from broken vases were scattered on the floor; holy water had been splashed from its reservoir; a couple of footprints were found on some handmade chairs, and pages from hymnals were ripped out or ruffled. The suspects may have also run along the pews and stood atop the piano. Items from Christmas nativity scenes situated at the Chapel’s entrance were also stolen then retrieved upon the suspects’ arrests.

Public Safety officers located the alleged perpetrators near the Administration building shortly following the incident. Both suspects are said to not be affiliated with Seattle U and are currently in custody by the Seattle Police Department.
Evan Britton, a junior theology and music major and student Campus Minister, said that since the Chapel is an open space, vandalization is inevitably a potential consequence.

“I’m just grateful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” he said.

Britton added that the incident was probably not serious enough to invoke significant concern over security.

Flu Season Hits Hard

The Center for Disease Control has reported that all national flu indicators are elevated and that about half of the country is experiencing high flu activity—leading some to believe this year’s flu season is severe.

“It appears that we are right in the middle of flu season this year, and so far it’s shaping up to be a bad year for flu, especially for older people and people with underlying conditions,” CDC director Tom Frieden told Live Science. “We’ve seen a lot of flu, and there’s more to come.”

Influenza A (H3N2) has been the most common strain so far this year. H3N2 has been associated with seasons of more severe illness and mortality, particularly in older adults and young children.

Health officials suggest vaccination against the virus as a preventative measure to protect oneself from the virus. Peaks of flu-related illness tend to be between December and February, however, it can stretch until May in bad instances.


Schools in the Pakastani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reopened on Jan. 12 in symbolic defiance against continuing threats. The government had enacted an extended time off following a Taliban attack that left 150 people dead on Dec. 15. The death toll of the attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School made it the deadliest in the country’s history.

Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani spoke to concerns about the security measures being taken by schools in the area and assured them that “all the necessary security measures” had been addressed. Ghani noted that authorities would build walls around government-run education institutions, and would introduce community policing systems whereby civilians would be trained and paid to guard educational facilities.

This response is indicative of other measures taken by the government following the attack, which included ending the moratorium on capitol punishment in terror-related cases. Six terrorists have been executed due to involvement in the incident.

Nigera Massacre

After reported raids in villages in North Eastern Nigeria, the world is still trying to figure out the details of the incident – including the number of civilians killed.

Boko Haram, and Islamic terrorist groups, is responsible for the attacks. The raids began on Jan. 3 and only subsided last weekend. Dead bodies have piled up in Baga and surrounding villages, and the reported death toll ranges from 150 to over 2,000, according to BBC news. Attacks on mobile phone masts have made communication with locals difficult, and government officials have released few statements regarding the incident. The media is speculating about how politicians will take back Baga, the main town taken by the terrorists, and how Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will respond.

Boko Haram was founded in 2002 and is opposed to Western education. According to CNN, the group intends to impose “a stricter form of Sharia law” throughout Nigeria. A Boko Haram leader recently threatened the president of Nigeria’s neighbor Cameroon, increasing concerns about a global terrorist threat.


Popular gourmet ice cream parlor Molly Moon’s has reopened its doors for the new year after closing them just before Christmas in response to a discovery linking listeria to the plant that supplies the chain with its milk and cream base.

Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream supplies Molly Moon’s and other Seattle-based ice cream suppliers including Whole Foods, Fred Meyer and the Space Needle with ice cream products, sorbet and gelato. The Seattle Times reported that the company first failed a health inspection in October before it was shut down Christmas week after two cases of listeria poisoning were linked to its Snohomish plant.

The two King County men who were hospitalized as a result of listeria poisoning have reportedly made full recoveries. Both men were in their 50s and had underlying health problems, health officials told the Seattle Times.

Listeriosis is an infection that results from the ingestion of a bacterium known as listeria monocytogenes. According to the Center for Disease Control, the bacterium is a health concern for the United States and poses a particular threat to older adults, pregnant women and those with preexisting medical issues.

Molly Moon’s announced their reopening on Jan. 3.


As governments and drug producers hustle to develop new Ebola vaccines in West African countries like Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone a strange problem has begun to lurk in the near future. The Ebola virus has begun to show signs of decline as more treatment centers are built and safer burial practices are implemented, meaning that there is a shrinking population of individuals to test vaccines against the virus.
The vaccines will need to be methodically tested upon a controlled population of people, and because time will need to pass before the vaccines can be judged as viable or not the authorities with a stake in the virus will be working to implement their vaccines within the next month, NPR reports.

While the methods of implementation are different in each country, the principle of testing should remain the same throughout West Africa. That is, some sample of the population will be given a vaccine and another is given a placebo vaccine, then developers must wait six months to judge the effectiveness of their vaccine(s).

World Health Organization statistics show a marked decline in the rate of contraction, thus the vaccines would work more to prevent a similar outbreak in the future, rather than be used to treat the current epidemic.

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