Here are some of The Aquinian's stories from the 2021-22 academic year that explore important topics, made waves on social media or were crucial to the informing of the student body. (Collage by Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Editor’s note: this list was compiled in the order in which they originally published on The Aquinian’s website. 

Bomb threats. Elections. Union strikes. Racism. War.

These are just a few of the issues in the St. Thomas University and greater Fredericton communities that the editorial team at The Aquinian worked around the clock to cover.

Here are some of our stories from the 2021-22 academic year that explore important topics, made waves on social media or were crucial to the informing of the student body.

‘Pure chaos’: Campus bomb threat evacuates students, residence lockdown

A Fredericton police cruiser blocks an entrance to the University of New Brunswick on Sept. 10, 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

A bomb threat that affected St. Thomas University, the University of New Brunswick and New Brunswick Community College on Sept. 10 required students across the province to evacuate or shelter in place in their residences.

STU sent out evacuation emails and social media posts shortly after 1 p.m., along with an emergency alert 20 minutes later.

STU goes against provincial decision to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day

St. Thomas University’s elder-in-residence, Miigam’agan, performs a smudging ceremony for Orange Shirt Day in 2019. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

In August 2021, the Government of Canada formally recognized Sept. 30 as a national holiday for Truth and Reconciliation Day. New Brunswick, however, chose not to honour the day as a holiday, leaving the choice up to private businesses.

Despite the provincial decision, St. Thomas University decided to close its campus and cancel classes on Sept. 30. Leanne Hudson, a student representative on STU’s Senate Committee on Reconciliation, called New Brunswick’s decision “eye-opening.”

Fredericton-born actor plays starring role in filmed production of Come From Away

Tony LePage, far right, plays Kevin T and Garth in the Apple TV filmed production. (Submitted: Apple TV)

Tony LePage, a Fredericton-born actor, burst into tears when he got the call from the director of Come From Away on Broadway, Christopher Ashley, telling him he scored the role of Kevin T/Garth in the Apple TV filmed production of the musical.

Come From Away tells the story of Gander, Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001, when the “plane people” were grounded and spent days under the hospitality of the people of Gander.

Jenica Atwin wins back Fredericton seat, Liberal minority confirmed

Jenica Atwin, left, has won back her seat at the Liberal Member of Parliament for Fredericton. She is seen in this file photo with Prime Minister Elect Justin Trudeau. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

The Fredericton riding was called with Liberal Member of Parliament Jenica Atwin defeating Conservative candidate Andrea Johnson by 502 votes. The results for the riding were confirmed just before noon on Sept. 22 — two days after election night.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau secured a minority government for the Liberal Party of Canada on Sept. 21, meaning the Liberals once again needed to find opposition partners to form a coalition.

STU athletes ‘figuring out how to work with’ updated health regulations

Masks and sanitizing may be the new normal on campus, but the regulations could cause challenges for athletes. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

While mask enforcement and sanitizing stations became the new normal on university campuses in October 2021, the regulations challenged STU athletes.

Tommies women’s soccer player Rhys Dixon said at the time it was nerve-wracking when New Brunswick went into a state of emergency in September 2021, since her team was slated to drive to Nova Scotia the next day.

‘Speaking up is not what they want’: Students, graduates speak out about racist patterns at FHS

Fredericton High School made headlines in September when some of its Grade 12 students wore “gangsta” themed outfits for picture day. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

It had almost been one month since Fredericton High School made headlines after some of its Grade 12 students wore “gangsta”-themed outfits for picture day this year. Students also alleged the school mishandled Truth and Reconciliation Day celebrations.

In the weeks that followed, other incidents and responses left current FHS students and graduates frustrated.

Behind the scenes of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery construction

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s renovations were scheduled to be completed by spring 2022. (Liam Carleton/AQ)

The new Harrison McCain Pavilion dramatically changed the shape of Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery on Queen Street. At the time of publication, the pavilion was scheduled for completion by spring 2022. The contemporary-style addition includes tall concrete pillars and large windows.

Beginning at the sidewalk, the new entrance covers 9,000 square feet, reaching the building’s former front. The renovations are to make the gallery more open, both symbolically and physically.

Battle of the Hill Part 2: Tommies fight back

The St. Thomas University Tommies beat the University of New Brunswick Reds on Oct. 29, 2021 in the second edition of the Battle of the Hill. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

The St. Thomas University Tommies beat the University of New Brunswick Reds in the second edition of the Battle of the Hill on Oct. 29. When the two teams met earlier this season, UNB won 5-2 against STU. This time though, the Tommies ended UNB’s winning streak.

In the first Battle of the Hill, the Reds scored four consecutive goals taking the lead, but in this game, they only managed one goal coming from Reagan Minor. The Tommies won 4-1.

10 out of 11 CUPE locals accept deal from N.B. government

Workers representing the Canadian Union of Public Employees circle the Legislature in Fredericton, N.B., on Nov. 12, 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Ten out of 11 New Brunswick locals from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, including Local 963 — which represents workers from the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation — ratified the wage agreements offered by the Higgs’ government.

It followed a two-week strike that forced roughly 22,000 public servants to hit the picket lines. Stephen Drost, president of CUPE New Brunswick, told reporters that although the union achieved its goal for better wages, it was an extremely difficult journey.

Commentary: I need you to care about safe injection sites

In her commentary, The Aquinian’s managing editor, Hana Delaney, discusses her personal connection to the Opioid crisis and why she believes safe injection sites are critical. (Flickr/U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

In this commentary, The Aquinian’s managing editor Hana Delaney shared her personal experience with losing a loved one to addiction and explained how safe injection sites can help combat overdose deaths.

Statistics are easy to look at, but the people behind them are not,” wrote Delaney.

‘The backbone of our coaching staff’: Tommies assistant coach selected to lead U17 provincial team

Tommies men’s basketball assistant coach Dominic Laviolette holds a basketball for this portrait in the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B. on Jan. 12, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

St. Thomas University Tommies men’s basketball assistant coach Dominic Laviolette was selected in January 2022 to lead the U17 boy’s New Brunswick team to compete in nationals this summer.

Laviolette said, at the time, he is looking forward to working with a different age group and he intends on implementing a similar coaching style to the one he currently uses at STU.

‘Tired of uncertainty’: STU students sign petition against return to in-person classes

A petition against the return of in-person classes is seen on a laptop in this photograph taken Jan. 30, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

An email from St. Thomas University informed students in-person classes would start on Feb. 7 after the Government of New Brunswick announced it was moving back to Level 2 of the COVID-19 winter plan.

Several students, like third-year STU student Molly Reid, signed a petition on against the return to in-person classes. At the time of publication on Jan. 30, the petition had roughly 215 signatures.

‘Like heaven on earth’: Bubble tea comes to Fredericton

The inside of Tobe Milk Tea in downtown Fredericton, N.B. is seen in this photograph on Jan. 27, 2022. (Rachel Smith/AQ)

Walking into Tobe Milk Tea, there are red balloons in the window and yellow flowers on the wall — decorations for Lunar New Year. The shop’s specialty is bubble tea, also called milk tea or boba.

In Fredericton, there are only a few places that sell bubble tea. Tobe served its first bubble tea in early January 2022, with many customers coming from the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

ArtsLink N.B. pleas for provincial government to save arts sector

An empty theatre is seen in this stock photo. (Felix Mooneeram/Unsplash)

ArtsLink New Brunswick, the Association Acadienne des Artistes Professionnelles du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAAPNB) and the Mawi’Art: Wabanaki Artist Collective released an open letter to the Government of New Brunswick in January, pleading officials to invest $12.5 million in the arts and cultural industries and promote essential pandemic recovery.

ArtsLink N.B. Executive Director Julie Whitenect said the pandemic caused the loss of three out of every 10 jobs within the sector. The organization works with artists to understand provincial policies and programs to improve the socioeconomic status of the sector.

Banners honouring members of the Black community line the streets of Fredericton

Banners honouring members of the Black community line the streets of Fredericton, N.B. on Feb. 3, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

For the second year in a row, the University of New Brunswick Arts Centre recognized Black History Month by lining Regent and Westmorland streets with banners of Black New Brunswickers who contributed to shaping the province through their fight for freedom and equality.

The Arts Centre consulted with elders from Fredericton’s Black community to identify notable figures in the city. The banners featured individuals from various professional and personal backgrounds, including civil rights activists, politicians, athletes and musicians.

Ratatelle: The rodent taking St. Thomas University by storm

Ratatelle, an internet-famous rodent living in Holy Cross House at St. Thomas University, surfs killer waves in this exclusive photograph. (Instagram/@ratatelle)

Ratatelle’s Instagram bio describes the rodent as a certified Swiftie, a part-time emotional support animal and a full-time icon. Recently, she added entrepreneur to the list. The St. Thomas University meme page is launching a line of stickers through RedBubble.

Money made from the sales will be donated to a non-profit organization in Fredericton. Ratatelle lives in Holy Cross House at STU.

Susan Love: Part of the three per cent

St. Thomas University bachelor of social work alumna Susan Love is seen sitting inside the amphitheatre on the upper campus of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B. on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

When Susan Love was in Grade 7, she told everyone she would be a social worker — without knowing exactly what that meant. Now, at age 23, Love works as a child protection and prevention social worker at St. Mary’s Child and Family Services.

Love’s decision to be a social worker came from her own experience in the foster care system, which she entered at age 12. She eventually became part of the three per cent of children who grew up in the foster care system to graduate from college.

Commentary: Ukrainian-Canadian student watches in horror as Putin invades Ukraine

The Ukrainian flag flies outside Fredericton City Hall in this photograph on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

In this commentary, James Brennan, a first-year St. Thomas University student, writes about Ukrainian identity as he watches Ukraine under attack from afar. At 4:40 a.m. on Feb. 24, Russia launched a deeper invasion into its neighbour, Ukraine.

“I sat helplessly watching the missiles fall on the cities whose names I learned at my Ukrainian elementary school: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa and Lviv, where my relatives continue to live to this day. It was surreal,” wrote Brennan.

Fredericton baseball coach signs contract with Toronto Blue Jays

Kevin McCarthy, left, a former University of New Brunswick baseball coach, signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. (Submitted: University of New Brunswick)

From minor leagues to coaching university baseball to the big leagues – Kevin McCarthy, former University of New Brunswick baseball coach, signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

McCarthy understands the sports world is continuously changing and he wants to give other people hope that they can do more with their coaching than just remaining in the local Fredericton scene.

Graduating STU students speak out about inability to vote for valedictorian, by-election scheduled

(Element 5 Digital/Unsplash)

Every year, the St. Thomas University Students’ Union hosts a spring general election, which includes the option for graduating students to vote for valedictorian. But not all graduating students received the option on their ballots. 

What began with a technical error resulted in an ongoing process of email exchanges, explanations in the March 20 STUSU meeting, resignations and an appeal process.