A school year in photos

May 22, 2021

In a school year of Black Lives Matter protests, sickness, financial hardship, the presidential election and survivors of sexual assault coming forward, Cynic journalists worked to provide truthful and thorough reporting of the events of 2020-2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a challenge to the Cynic’s photojournalists as most events were virtual and in-person events featuring fully masked attendants who were socially distanced.

Masks do not make for great portraits.

Cynic photojournalists faced what would otherwise be a restriction of their rights to free speech as journalists, if it had not been for the excuse of the pandemic that many administrators used to limit coverage. 

The Cynic persisted by the use of zoom lenses and other creative solutions to issues that would have blocked a visual record of such an important school year.

August 2020

As UVM prepared to open up it’s campus to incoming students the Cynic reported on the changes to sports, student meal plans and the Burlington community’s reaction to the flow of college students returning to their home.

The Cynic also stopped the spread of misinformation about the meals students were receiving while in quarantine and covered the issues surrounding the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag on the Davis Center flag pole.


Central Campus dining prepares for social distanced dining by removing many seating options Aug 14. (Kate Vanni)
A UVM student in quarantine leaves the dining hall during the breakfast hours with copious amounts of food Aug 20. (Kate Vanni)


As the semester began Cynic reporters covered the effects COVID-19 protocols had on their peers including suspensions, changes to the school year calendar and how RAs were affected by the new rules they had to enforce.

Outside of COVID-19 coverage the Cynic followed the protests that were held in the month of September including a die-in organized by the Union of Students, the strike of the Davis Center employees and the many protests calling for the firing of three BPD cops.

After the Davis Center strike the Hispanic Heritage Month Flag was allowed to fly again, and soon after SGA assumed control of the Davis Center flagpole. Following the protests against BPD, Sergeant Jason Bellavance stepped down from his role.

Hundreds of protesters raised their right fist as organizers spoke outside Burlington City Hall Wednesday night in a call for racial justice and an end to police violence. (Kate Vanni)
A woman eating with her family at a table on lower Church Street raises her fist in support as protestors march past Sep. 1. (Kate Vanni)
Protestors lie down on Summit Street near Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger’s house Sept. 4. (Kyle Elms)
Protesters march down Church Street Sept. 4 holding signs with the names of three police officers involved in use of force incidents.
Students dance in a studio on Trinity Campus Sept. 23. Mac Mansfield/Parisi
Early morning hikers sit bundled up atop Camel’s Hump Sept. 20 patiently waiting for the morning’s sunrise.
(Sawyer Loftus)
Alianza President Adrian Pastor and former Alianza President Jaylyn Chalco stand in front of the special events flagpole in the pouring rain after removing the Davis Center Flag Sept. 29. (Kate Vanni)


On October 13 the Cynic reported on students demanding change from UVM athletics due to their claims of how the department mishandled a sexual assault investigation.

Later in the month UVM celebrated 100,000 COVID tests by producing a giant Q-tip to the student who was test number 100,000.

That same day the Cynic reported on the UVM Medical Center being selected as a testing site for the COVID-19 vaccine. Though two days later the Cynic covered the cyber attacks directed at the UVM Medical Center.

October was also the month that the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator came to UVM to praise the school’s handling of COVID-19 but also caution against potential outbreaks.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, addresses gathered media in the Grand Maple Ball Room at UVM Oct. 10. Birx praised the University and Vermont’s response to the virus. (Sawyer Loftus)
Junior Kendall Ware stands in her Vermont Swimming and Diving shirt in front of the Patrick Gym, Oct. 9. Ware will be graduating this year to enter a Speech Pathology grad program at UVM. (Eric Scharf)
A speaker stands on the steps of the Vermont Capital building for the Womxn and Femmes March Oct. 17. Sawyer Loftus
Junior Jacenda O’Dwyer works on a pair of chili pepper earrings for a recent commission, Oct. 13. “I want to continue helping out local organizations with my sales if I can and improve my skills working with the clay and wire,” O’Dwyer said. (Kate Vanni)
UVM President Suresh Garimella, Rally Cat, first-year Emily Scarborough and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger pose for a photo in the David Center Atrium to celebrate UVM’s 100,000th COVID-19 test Oct. 27. (Eric Scharf)
A skier from the UVM Ski and Snowboard Club launches from the top of the pitch, setting up to hit the rails below Oct. 23.
(Kate Vanni)
A UVM Concert Band member plays the saxophone through a mask with a mouth hole in it, Oct. 14 in a class led by music professor Dr. Thomas Turner. (Mary McLellan)


Despite the confidence of UVM and Burlington police that students wouldn’t violate COVID rules for Halloween, in November the Cynic reported on the first uptick in positive COVID-19 test results. UVM called for students who were tested on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to retest following Halloween weekend.

On Nov. 9 the Cynic also gave its readers an inside look of the UVM quarantine buildings as COVID-19 cases continued to rise.

During peak election season the Cynic reported on Republican Governor Phil Scott’s announcement that he voted for Biden, and a week later the Cynic covered the historic win of President Biden on Nov. 10.

One of the ballot counters pulls out the “zero tape” a receipt that shows how many votes each candidate has received Oct. 29. The receipt shows zero votes for all candidates until the end of the night when the two counters tell the machine to tabulate the data. (Kate Vanni)
Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, Molly Gray, stands with a group of supporters on the corner of Marshall Ave. and St. George Rd. in Williston, VT, Oct. 30.
(Mac Mansfield-Parisi)
Students filter through the COVID testing entrance Nov. 6 in a line stretching back to the Howe Library stairs. Each student must blow their nose and use hand sanitizer before proceeding to the testing area. (Kate Vanni)
A Burlington resident stands on Main street holding an American flag between their fingers as they hold up a peace sign Nov. 7. (Allison Ouellette)
UVM students celebrate Biden winning the 2020 election on Main St Nov. 7 by popping a bottle of champagne. Students and Burlington residents flooded the streets in celebration. (Kate Vanni)


On December 3 the Cynic published a story detailing UVM’s plans to cut nearly 30 College of Arts and Sciences degree programs.

The Cynic went on to write seven separate stories about these cuts and their effects on the UVM community.

Sophomore Cam Morrissey looks out on the empty ice rink in Gutterson Fieldhouse Dec. 6. Morrissey just finished quarantining after traveling home for Thanksgiving. (Kate Vanni)


Four rooms inside of Central Campus Residence Hall are lit up Jan. 21. (Kate Vanni)
The state installed COVID-19 sign stands off of exit 14E to let out-of-state travelers know the Vermont guidelines for COVID Jan. 25. A 14 day quarantine is required of all out-of-state travelers among other safety precautions. (Kate Vanni)
A Color COVID-19 testing kit is opened to display the contents of the kit Jan. 25. The kit includes a nasal swab, a testing tube, a biohazard bag and a return shipping mailer. (Kate Vanni)
Empty seats line up on the side of UVM’s Patrick Gymnasium Jan. 28. All UVM winter sports have been postponed until Feb. 4. as of Jan. 22. (KATE VANNI)
UVM Senior Anna Shea holds her cat Pesto in her off-campus apartment Jan. 30. (Elaina Sepede)


Due to the new spring semester schedule, January 2021 was part of the longest winter break UVM students have ever seen as the semester did not begin until Feb. 1.

When the semester started up and students returned for another semester of online and socially distanced learning, SGA challenged the CAS cuts announced by the administration. Though on Feb. 8 the board of trustees announced more cuts across colleges may come.

As COVID-19 cases at UVM grew to new heights UVM reported on the announcement of twice-weekly testing and harsher penalties for students who break the Green and Gold Promise.

When one of the Cynic’s reporters tested positive for COVID-19 the Cynic was able to provide it’s readers with an inside look at the experience a student goes through when they live in the COVID-19 quarantine and isolation buildings.

A sign inside of Shalom Shuk, a thrift store located in a historic barn behind the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue on 188 North Prospect Street, shows shoppers there is a sale Feb. 4. Founded in 1855 the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue is Vt.’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation. (Mac Mansfield-Parisi)
The @Loveisblind Instagram page has over 1,000 followers as many wait for this new UPB event to begin. (Mary Mclellan)
Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, UVM’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reacts to the new exhibit for Celebrating Diverse Voices at UVM Feb. 10. The exhibit, dedicated to Dr. Heading-Grant can be found on the fourth floor of the Davis Center. (Elaina Sepede)
Student supporters of Max Tracy stand on the side of the Main street crosswalk students use daily to get to Central Campus Feb. 8. This event was organized by the UVM Progressives.
(Eric Scharf)
A USPS sticker with “Save the Arts” is stuck to a UVM streetlamp next to Rally cat Feb. 9. Similar stickers with different messages pertaining to the recent CAS budget cuts have appeared on other streetlamps around campus. (Kate Vanni)
UVM History Professor Charlie Briggs sits in his office located in the Wheeler House Feb 10. Briggs is one of three other College of Arts and Sciences Professors who have recently been laid off due to the budget cuts. (Mary McLellan)
UVM Geology professor Stephen Wright crouchs between two of his students as he teaches during their lab Feb. 10. Wright is one of three other College of Arts and Sciences professors who have recently been laid off due to the budget cuts. (Mary McLellan)
Ella Ruehsen, a UVM sophomore and assistant news editor for the Cynic stands at the center window of Slade Hall Feb. 13. Slade Hall is a residence hall on Redstone Campus which has been reserved for COVID positive students. (Kate Vanni)
Max Tracy 2021 Burlington Mayoral Candidate stands at the top of the City Hall steps Feb. 18. (Eric Scharf)
Burlington Mayoral incumbent Miro Weinberger stands on North Ave during a “honk and wave” with his supporters Feb. 19. As cars passed by they honked in support. (Eric Scharf)
City Market at the S. Winooski location is open to customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 17. This City Market location was closed on February 13 and 14. (Kate Vanni)
James Williamson, Senior Lecturer for UVM’s English Department sits in his office surrounded by books Feb. 16. Williamson is one of three other College of Arts and Sciences professors who have recently been laid off due to the budget cuts. (Mary McLellan)
Packaged meals are left at the door of Slade Hall for quarantining students to come pick up. The meals for breakfast and lunch were the same every day consisting of melon slices, a bagel, a granola bar and a Chobani yogurt cup for breakfast and a sandwich with a bag of chips for lunch. (Ella Ruehsen)


During the first week of twice-weekly testing the Cynic covered the extremely long lines of students waiting outside the testing center, one student waited 52 minutes to get their mandatory test.

As cases continued to rise the Cynic reported on the detection of the UK variant at UVM.

Outside of COVID-19 coverage the Cynic reported on student demands for a professor to resign after a video he made claiming white discrimination at UVM surfaced.

Students sit in Brennans Pub Feb. 24 listening to the poetry readings of Acción Poética. (Ivy Kirby)
Junior Matthew Carlton stands on the porch of his off-campus apartment Feb. 26. Carlton just released “The Dream is Dead” under the artist name Tasheff. (Mac Mansfield-Parisi)
Students line up in the COVID testing line March 1. At 5:00 p.m. one end of the line started near Aiken and the other started past the Royal Tyler Theatre. (Kate Vanni)
Burlington residents walk in and out of the Mater Christi School to vote during Town Meeting Day March 2. (Kyle Elms)
A student answers questions inside the Ward 8 polling station March 2. Allison Ouellette
Senior Eddie Travieso holds up his fist in Fruition’s Black Lives Matter bomber jacket Feb. 27. (Kate Vanni)
Members of the audience sit and wait for “In the streets” this year’s BSU fashion show to begin Feb. 27. All of the seats in the Grand Maple Ballroom are six feet apart. (Kate Vanni)
Cynic staff photographer Mary Mclellan poses for a self-portrait inside the dance studio of Mann Hall. (Mary Mclellan)
Katz sits inside in front of their thermostat March 3. Katz describes their clothes style as “skatery.” (Allison Ouellette)
A car drives by the old UVM medical center March 3. (Kyle Elms)
Junior Genevieve Prefontaine got her first tattoo on her eighteenth birthday. The tattoo was of a Grateful Dead lightning bolt which her dad also got to match with her. Her most recent tattoo, done a week ago, is of a flying pig that has no meaning other than being a cute pig with wings. (Kate Vanni)
Members of Vermonters Against Unconstitutional Lockdowns and Tyranny, also known as VAULT, gather on Church street for an anti-mask flash mob that began at 5:30 p.m. March 20. The flashmob met at 1 Church street and proceeded to walk down towards City Hall. (Mary Mclellan)
Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, sits in her office in the Waterman building holding up a story written about her by Seven Days. Grant says she is extremely proud of this story. (Elaina Sepede)
A high school student journalist does work under the Levis advertisement March 16. (Kate Vanni)
Once the grading process is complete, the syrup is contained in these glass jars at 190° F and immediately sealed to prevent contamination of the syrup. (Eric Scharf)


In April the Cynic reported on the frustration and guilt RAs were voicing about conduct enforcement as they were caught between students and administration.

As COVID-19 cases continued to rise the Cynic reported on UVM’s decision to reopen tours on campus and then the decision to reopen the visitor center despite continued student restrictions.

On April 2 the UVM student body elected their new SGA President and Vice President, through which the President won as a write-in candidate.

The Cynic also covered UVM’s inability to meet its sustainability goals and the increase of marijuana use across the student body as a result of the pandemic.

UVM Senior Kellyn Doerr and her boyfriend Wallace Burgess, recent Syracuse University graduate, stand in front of American Flatbread March 27. Doerr and Burgess met during the pandemic through Tinder. (Allison Ouellette)
Current SGA President Lana Al-Namee, junior, and Vice President Peter Lally, senior, sit on the steps of the Billings Library April 7. (Allison Ouellette)
Junior Sam Pasqualoni stands outside Williams Hall April 3. Pasqualoni won the presidential election for SGA April 1 as a write-in candidate. Kate Vanni
Freshman Elene Karlberg, known as UVM Condom Kid, poses surrounded by over 100 Trojan condoms March 31. (Mary McLellan)
Sophomore Miles Mccallum stands in front of Harris-Millis Hall where he works as an RA. (Kate Vanni)
Students pack up their dorm belongings outside Harris-Millis Hall March 18. (Eric Scharf)
The family of a prospective student walks through Andrew Harris Commons without observing proper masking protocols April 10. (Mary McLellan)
Nullhegan’s Emma Downie and Ben Collins, both juniors, stand on College street April 11. (Allison Ouellette)
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UVM’s Women of Color Coalition hosted a Natural Hair and Body Care Expo in the Grand Maple Ballroom April 17.
(Elaina Sepede)
Cyr, leans on a wall behind the checkout counter April 15. (Eric Scharff)
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Cndypnt’s owner, Avery Cyr, helps UVM students find what they are looking for April 15. (Eric Scharff)
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The COVID-19 testing center is illuminated at night April 18. The center is now closed both Saturday and Sunday. (Tyler Nachilly)
Three students stand smoking joints on the Redstone green April 20. (Tyler Nachilly)
Thorton works at the Cosmic Grind on Church Street April 24. (Elaina Sepede)


The Cynic also reported on a march to Waterman in protest of UVM’s handling of sexual assault cases. The crowd of thousands filled the Waterman Green as they listened to leader Athena Hendrick speak.

In continuing it’s coverage of Reslife the Cynic reported on a Reslife employee abruptly leaving UVM, leaving students confused and upset.

In solidarity with Palestine UVM students and Burlington community members marched from Battery Park to City Hall on May 15.

Secondary image for Tall Travis story
The band practices four hours a week in a common room in Living and Learning B a week April 29. (Tyler Nachilly)
Featured image for education feature
Chairs sit on students’ desks at the end of the day at Leicester Central School April 30. (Allison Ouellette)
Thousands of student protestors filled the steps of Waterman building and flooded out past South Prospect Street and onto the Waterman Green May 3. (Mary McLellan)
Two survivors sit on the steps of the Waterman building holding hands May 3 as Hendrick speaks to the crowd. (Mary McLellan)
Student protesters clasp their hands together and raise them over their heads, mimicking the motion displayed by Hendrick as they stand on top of the Waterman steps May 3. (Kate Vanni)
Students protest at the steps of Waterman to support sexual assault survivors. Kate Vanni
Students gather on the Redstone Green as a meeting spot for a protest in support of sexual assault survivors at UVM. Kate Vanni
Athena Hendrick speaks to a crowd of protestors at a march they helped organize in support of survivors of sexual assault. Kate Vanni
Survivors and supporters stand together outside the Waterman building May 3. (Abbie Kopelowitz)
600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were made available to UVM students and the public May 2. (Elaina Sepede)
Two doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine sit on a table waiting to be transferred to a syringe May 2. (Elaina Sepede)
Pedestrians on Church street filmed the protestors as they made their way to City Hall May 15. (Kate Vanni)
UVM Senior Cam McLaughlin led the UVM Track and Field team in deciding to cover up the “Vermont” in their jerseys at this year’s New England Championships. (Kate Vanni)

In the past 138 years of the Cynic’s history its staff has covered wars, conflicts and other pandemics.

As the academic year of 2020-2021 comes to a close it is important to reflect on both the trials and progress we have made as individuals and as a campus. 

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