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The Review’s Year in Review, 2021

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

2021 built on the tumult of the year prior to remind us that our idea of “normalcy” might be further away than previously thought. The year contained both gloomy moments and glimmering flashes of hope. Over the course of 365 days, the Review’s 82 staff members wrote 162 articles covering the key events and trends in the city and across the globe that defined the last 12 months. In this collection, we are proud to recap the extraordinary work of our dedicated student writers who covered the year with prowess and skill.

Photo Courtesy: Jim Bourg/Reuters


1/06: BREAKING: Pro-Trump Rioters Storm the U.S Capitol and Disrupt Count of Electoral Votes - Ryan Metz and Justin Dynia

Only a short time after Congress began its constitutionally-mandated obligation of counting the electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of President Trump’s followers stormed the Capitol.

1/20: OFFICIAL: Joe Biden Sworn in as America’s 46th President - Justin Dynia and Ryan Metz

Photo Courtesy: Annie Mayne/BPR


2/8: Campus Survivors Protest University's Sexual Assault Problem - Annie Mayne

Through snow and below freezing temperatures on the night of Super Bowl LV, 600 Boston University students attended a protest organized by Campus Survivors on Sunday, February 7th hosted in solidarity with national protests hosted by the University Survivor’s Movement. Annie Mayne’s coverage for the BPR was cited and included in the Boston Globe’s coverage of the event.

Photo Courtesy: Kathleen Fowlds/Curiosity Shots


3/2: The GameStop Saga: How Reddit and Independent Investors Shook Wall Street - Anna Yingst

3/3: Crisis in Rome and Threats to European Liberal Democracy - Jonathan DaCosta

3/4: A Look at the Past and Future of COVID Economic Relief - Emanne Khan

3/5: India Undertakes Historic Vaccination Campaign - Gaurav Bagur

3/8: Asian American Facing New Wave of Attacks across the U.S. - Alexander Puri

3/9: Alexei Navalny: From Opposition to Arrest - Elizabeth Czech

3/10: Biden Administration Gives Hope for Student Loan Forgiveness - Madeleine Pearce

3/10: Future for Immigrants and Refugees under Biden: The US Citizenship Act of 2021 - Faye Al-Tourah

3/11: Mask Up, Your Ride is Here - Justin Dynia

3/12: Boston Mayor Tapped for Biden’s Cabinet - Brooke Iglar

Mayor Marty Walsh joined President Biden’s cabinet as secretary of labor, a victory for pro-union advocates who welcomed Walsh’s support of organized labor.

3/15: The Vaccine is Here, but Some Americans Aren’t Getting in Line - Catherine Devlin

3/15: Coronavirus Vaccine Hesitancy amongst Britain’s Ethnic Minorities - Haana Pham, Roar News

3/16: Black-Owned Small Businesses in Boston Find Ways to Persevere through Pandemic - Cameron Morsberger

Suffolk County is home to over 40,000 small businesses. From Allston and Mission Hill to Roxbury and beyond, Boston is a hub for local startups and entrepreneurial ventures.

Of those 40,000 Boston restaurants, clothing stores, bookshops, and more, nearly half have disappeared since January of last year. In a city defined by its minority populations and communities, Black owners expressed the ways in which the pandemic has changed their businesses — for better or worse.

3/16: Mattapan Community Fridge Serves Local Residents in Need - Jennifer Ojilere

3/16: An Oxygen Shortage in Mexico City Exposes Mistrust in Hospitals, Fuels Black Market Activity - Chloe Rudnicki

Mexico struggled with high hospitalization and death rates from COVID-19 partially due to the scarcity of overpriced oxygen tanks. Public distrust caused by high rates of corruption led to many turning to the black market to purchase medical resources like oxygen tanks, albeit the extreme prices.

3/17: The Vaccine Shortfall in Europe - Jessica Adams

3/18: An Overview of U.S. Media Reform, From Ownership Caps to Net Neutrality - Emanne Khan

3/19: China-India Border Dispute: A Shift Eastward Means More Than Just Territory - Zachary Masone

3/22: The Road to Reopening Schools - Omer Erez

3/22: Are We Close to Reaching the End? Vaccination Progress Speeds Up - Andrew Logue

3/23: A United Congress and Its Uncertain Future - Anuj Sawhney

3/23: Where Has Bipartisanship Gone? Political Unity from 1787 to 2021 - Sam Duan

3/24: President Biden Makes His Mark with Progressive Democrats - Jaliana Griesbach

3/24: Biden & Macron: An Idyllic Relationship - Chloe Ferreux

3/25: Stop Running, Keep Dribbling - Max Ferrandino

3/25: The After Party: Trump, the GOP, and Where They Go From Here - Annie Mayne

3/26: A Deep Dive into Political Extremism in America - Julianna Hellerman

3/29: Comparing Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plans - Nada Shalash

3/30: A New Cabinet, Stocked and Loaded - Moxie Thompson

3/31: Biden Wins the Climate Battle, But Not the War - Safiya Umrani

3/31: Biden Administration to Focus on Climate Change Policy - Nyah Jordan

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


4/1: Opinion: The Circular Argument of America’s Gun Debate Must End - Marino Unger-Verna, Roar News

4/1: An Interview with Allan Lichtman - Ishaan Rahman, Roar News

4/2: SEC vs. WSB: The Case of GME - Maxwell James

4/5: Political Activism in the Age of Social Media - Mary Thomas

4/6: Kim M. Janey Announced Campaign: Boston’s Long Road to a Black Mayor - Justin Dynia

Kim M. Janey was sworn in as the Acting Mayor of Boston on March 24, the first woman and Black person to hold the office. The seismic shift comes after two hundred years of white males dominating the position. The road to her ascension spans centuries in a city with both a complicated mayoral and racial history.

4/7: Office of the Former President Paves New Path for Trump, Strays from Predecessors - Lincoln Son Currie

4/7: Tesla and its ‘Technoking’: How one Company Revolutionized the Automotive Industry - Anna Yingst

4/8: People Believed Their Vote Mattered, And Sure Enough It Did: Consequential Shifts From 2016 to 2020 - Lea Kapur

4/9: The Future of the United States-Saudi Arabia Partnership - Nisha Rao

Biden announced a pause on two major arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that had been approved prior to his inauguration to make a statement regarding the ongoing Yemeni Civil War and the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Experts hope the pause or complete cancellation of the arms deal will not endanger the mutual cooperation and security interests between these two long-standing partners.

4/12: Revenue for Streaming Services Soar Throughout 2020, But Questions Remain About Their Sustainability - Alexander Puri

4/13: How the Democratic Experiment in Myanmar Failed - Jonathan DaCosta

4/14: Profile: Acting Mayor Kim M. Janey - Brooke Iglar

4/15: 2022 U.S. Midterms Elections: An Early Look - Ishaan Rahman, Roar News

4/15: Has Brexit Broken British Politics? - Aman Patel, Roar News

4/16: Historic Confirmation of Debra Haaland as Biden’s Interior Secretary - Fotouh Al Awadhi

4/20: Governor Cuomo Awaits His Fate - Annie Mayne

4/21: The French “Anti-Separatism” Bill: Anti-Extremist, or Islamophobic? - Lexie Nasse

4/21: Opinion: Veiling Politics as Law: Playing it French - Svetlana Sehgal & Dipanvita Sehgal, Delhi University

4/22: Prince Philip: The U.K. and World Bid Farewell to a Royal - Frank Serpe

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was laid to rest on April 17, marking the end of a storied and impactful life of service. Britain’s longest reigning consort died on April 9 at the age of 99. The death of Prince Philip has sent shockwaves through not only the Royal Family, but also around the U.K. and the world.

4/22: Not Far Enough: The Harry and Meghan Interview - Elizabeth Czech

4/26: The Makings of a Policy Revolution: Expanded Child Tax Credit Promises Relief - Emanne Khan

In response to the problem and the added strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on American families, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes an expanded tax credit that has been touted as a means of slicing the child poverty rate. The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum credit amount per child from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under 18.

4/26: Future of Hawaii State Income Tax Bill Remains Uncertain - Madeleine Pearce

4/27: Transgender Women in High School Sports - Moxie Thompson

4/27: The AstraZeneca Question: A Window Into Europe’s Vaccination Failures - Zachary Masone

4/28: In Some States, No Mask Doesn’t Mean No Service - Catherine Devlin

4/29: Amazon Expands to Seaport Headquarters - Emma Shapiro

4/29: Local Community Activism: A Spotlight on Black Boston - Camille Ofulue

4/30: Promises Made, Some Promises Kept: Biden Marks 100 Days in Office - Jaliana Griesbach

Biden achieved some of his major goals, such as getting 100 million Americans vaccinated and passing a sweeping $1.9 trillion relief bill, while others, like amending the Congressional filibuster and gun control, remain unrealized.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


5/3: Is Amending Section 230 the Answer to Our Fake News Problem? by Emanne Khan

5/3: Partisanship and Mass Media in the United States by Sam Duan

5/4: Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Green’s Road from Alt-Right Conspiracy to Congress - Greg Gilman

5/4: The Future of Redistricting - Max Fernandino

5/5: Is There a “Best” Vaccine in the U.S.? A Deep Dive Into The Three Vaccines Approved in the U.S. - Lea Kapur

5/5: Mandatory Vaccines Raise Ethical, Legal Questions - Lincoln Son Currie

5/6: The Fight For and Against a $15 Minimum Wage: A Massachusetts Perspective by Nada Shalash

The Massachusetts minimum wage continues to rise during the pandemic, reaching $13.50 in January, even as a federal increase stalls in Congress.

5/6: Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona Stands Out from his Predecessor - Omer Erez

5/7: The Texas Storm and What Went Wrong - Julianna Hellerman

The billions of dollars in damages caused by the Winter Storm Uri suggest that Texas’s market-oriented energy structure can no longer handle the state’s increasingly unpredictable climate.

5/7: A Return to Normalcy or Controversy? The 2021 Tokyo Olympics by Gaurav Bagur

5/7: Japan’s Move Towards Marriage Equality - Emma Shapiro

5/27: Opinion: Biden’s Vaccine Supply Misstep - Joseph Woodward

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


6/7: Energy and Ethereum: How Non-Fungible Tokens are Overwhelming the Cryptocurrency - Anna Yingst

6/18: The Missing Puzzle Pieces of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- Justin Dynia

Starting in 70 A.D, this in-depth historical contextualization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict surveys the grievances, negotiations, and experiences from all angles that molded the conflict in its present-day form.

Photo Courtesy: Orlando Barría/EPA


7/8: Pride Month Legislation: Anti-Transgender Bills, Fulton V. Philadelphia, and the Equality Act - Lexi Nasse

7/21: Haiti On the Brink: How the Moïse Government Brought Haitian Democracy to its Knees -Jonathan DaCosta

President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7 by a group of at least two Haitian Americans and twenty-six Colombian nationals. Much about the perpetrators and their plot is still unknown. Amidst all of this uncertainty, one thing seems clear: the assassination of President Moïse represents the culmination of political violence that has been rapidly increasing throughout Haiti.

Photo Courtesy: Shireen Mazari Twitter


8/11: What Cuomo’s Resignation Means for #MeToo and the Democratic Party - Annie Mayne

Andrew Cuomo resigned as Governor of New York on August 10 following a bombshell report that he had harassed at least a dozen women. The 165-page report and the governor’s months-long refusal to leave office created internal ruptures within the Democratic Party, both at the state and national level.

8/18: Too Little, Too Late: Inaction Led to the Falls of Saigon and Kabul - Justin Dynia

Although there are parallels in how decades of American government mismanagement led to the quick collapse of the two cities, the long-term implications of the most recent events in Kabul are markedly different than in Saigon.

8/23: Vaccination Resistance in the United States - Karis Clark

Photo Courtesy: Daily Free Press


9/7: Haiti Earthquake Revitalizes Uncertainties About Who Can and Should Lead the Aid Effort - Chloe Rudnicki

9/14: A Guide to the Boston Mayoral Election Preliminary by Jackson Tarricone

9/15: How a Coronavirus-ridden Europe could soon be overwhelmed by another migrant crisis -Andrea Tonon, Roar News

9/23: BREAKING: Boston University Announces Divestment from Fossil Fuels - Quinn Chappelle

President Robert Brown announced that Boston University would immediately halt commitments to new and direct investments in fossil fuel companies or fossil fuel-focused projects.

9/27: Michelle Wu Receives Endorsement from Mayor Kim Janey after Preliminary Election

- Arlo Hatcher

Photo Courtesy: Sergei Gapon


10/13: Instagram Youth: The Expanding Market of Targeted Social Media Apps - Anna Yingst

10/19: Lukashenko’s Gambit: Retribution for Persecution? - Jonathan DaCosta

Belarus’s decision to weaponize refugees and create an aurora of chaos among Eastern European EU member states must be understood in the context of the continual duel between Lukashenko and his Western European counterparts. For the past year, Lukashenko has turned towards more aggressive authoritarian behavior after cracking down on pro-democratic protests that followed his widely criticized election.

10/21: The Precedence of Vaccine Mandates and Recent Reactions - Allie Baptiste

10/21: Alternative for Who? The Rise and Salience of the AfD - Jack Martin

10/22: Moderna's Meteoric Rise during the Boston Biotech Boom - Moxie Thompson

Several companies who have become a major part of the global fight against the pandemic call Boston home. Moderna, the Cambridge-based company that counted just 2,200 employees three years ago, became Massachusetts' third largest biotech employer this year and is now a world-renowned leader in biotechnology.

10/25: Spending Bill Forces Congress Towards Chaos - Daniel Zhou

10/26: Environmental Crisis in the Mediterranean: The Syrian Oil Spill - Tiare Sierra

10/27: NY Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers Temporarily Blocked - Madeleine Pearce

10/27: France's Vaccination Passport at Play - Michael Yue

10/28: The Future of Waterfront Developments in Boston Remain Uncertain - Jessie O’ Leary

For almost eight years, developers and Massachusetts legislators have tried to agree on a way to add to Boston’s waterfront skyline. The Downtown Waterfront District Municipal Harbor Plan (DTW MHP) appeared to be that compromise, until a Suffolk Superior Court judge threw it out following a lawsuit by environmental activist group Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and neighboring building Harbor Towers.

10/28: Green Line Extension Project Nears Completion - Brooke Iglar

10/29: Texas Heartbeat Act: What You Need to Know - Brenda Gonzalez

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press


11/1: Newsom Crushes California Recall Election - Cole Whittington

11/1: Election Protection or Voter Suppression: The Future of U.S. Elections - Pamela Arjona

11/2: BU Student Government Hosts Mayoral Forum Days Before the Nov. 2 Election - Justin Dynia

11/2: The Mayoral Race Paves the Way Towards Boston’s First Elected Female Mayor - Oluwatamilore Ajibade

11/3: BREAKING: Michelle Wu Wins Boston Mayoral Election - Justin Dynia

Michelle Wu cruised to an easy victory and became the first woman and person of color to win election for the Mayor of Boston in the position’s 200-year history.

11/3: Taliban Takeover Foreshadows Dim Future for Afghan Women - Dora Betts

11/4: A Rough Patch: France, Australia, and the US’s Strained Relationship after Secret Submarine Deal - Sean Young

11/4: Redlining in Boston: How the Architects of the Past Have Shaped Boston’s Future - Camille Ofulue

Boston is one of the most segregated cities in the country. Massachusetts, a notoriously liberal, blue state still contains stark racial inequities after decades of progress. The key to understanding this paradox lies in the city’s long history of redlining, a discriminatory method of organizing neighborhoods.

11/5: Boston under Mayor Wu - A Look at What's to Come - Jackson Tarricone

11/5: Biden's Climate Action Plan Struggles With Senator Manchin -Maya Shavit

11/7: Struggle for the House in Staunchly-Republican Wyoming Reflects Party-Wide Shift in Priorities - Sam Magid

11/8: Family Values in American Politics: Talking Point or Call to Action? - Emanne Khan

11/9: The United Nations 76 Annual Session: Is the World Back to Normal? - Isabelle Fonseca

11/10: Nova Anglia Rising: New England’s Far Right Movement - Sebastian Porreca

11/10: Boston Struggles to Resolve Crisis at Mass. and Cass - Chris Dew

11/11: President Bukele and El Salvador’s Bitcoin Gamble - Elio Rodriguez Zeda

On the 200th anniversary of El Salvador’s independence from Spain, thousands gathered in San Salvador, not in cultural celebration, but in staunch opposition to President Nayib Bukele’s radical Bitcoin experiment — one that elevates the popular digital currency to the same legal tender status as the U.S. Dollar.

11/11: Iran Gains Membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - Sophie Honary

11/12: Arizona & Florida Legislatures Introduce Anti-Abortion Bills - Natalie Milewski

11/12: Texas Abortion Bill Fights for its Life - Annie Mayne

11/15: Republicans Sweep Virginia Off-Year Election in Rebuke to President Biden - Ishaan Rahman, Roar News

11/16: COVID-19 Escalates Turkish Authoritarianism - Sujena Soumyanath

11/17: A Political Storm: Hurricane Ida’s Impact On American Politics - Caroline McCord

11/18: Gabby Petito: What It Means To Be “America’s Daughter” - Sophia Wagner

11/18: Why Americans’ Top Priority Isn't In Biden’s Spending Bill: The Healthcare Reform Debate - Anderson Warshaw

11/19: Emergency Becomes Mainstream: The Supreme Court and the Shadow Docket - Erin LeBlanc

11/19: “Squid Game” Labor Protests in South Korea - Xiaodan He

Seoul, South Korea, witnessed a mass labor protest on October 21. The protesters were dressed like the characters in Squid Game, the most streamed television series on Netflix. The costumes were by no means a tribute to Halloween, but to the growing economic inequality, lack of labor protections, and the persistent governmental corruption in South Korea that Squid Game calls into question.

11/20: Trump, Cuomo, Afghanistan: Mass Politics and the Erosion of Democratic Institutions in the US - Sam Duan

11/21: Hotel Buckminster and the Future of Kenmore Square - Daniel Zhou

11/22: Strait Talk: The Implications of Biden’s Comments on Taiwan - Jack Martin

President Biden sent shockwaves by appearing to announce a shift in U.S.-Taiwan policy during a CNN town hall on October 21. When asked whether or not he would commit to defending Taiwan, President Biden responded with, and then repeated, a rather unequivocal “yes.” This one-word answer signaled a potentially massive shift from the long-standing U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" towards the Taiwanese.

11/22: In Times of Crisis, a Good President Should Be a Good Listener - Justin Dynia

Biden’s record on taking experts’ advice has been a mixed-bag. He can learn from how Kennedy avoided nuclear war.

11/23: Barbados—Britain’s first slave society—drops the British Crown - Tiare Sierra

11/23: Brazilian President Bolsonaro's Controversy between Censorship and Freedom of Expression Continues - Shandra Beck

11/29: The Pandemic Upside: Decline in Poverty - Omer Erez

11/30: “First Do No Harm:” Don’t Ignore Race in Medicine - Cate Albright

Photo Courtesy: Jackie Ricciardi


12/1: Colombia's "cocaine hippos" legally recognized as people - Madeleine Pearce

In a historic departure from the legal definition of "person," a United States federal court order recognized dozens of hippos in Colombia as "persons of interest" to secure protections for the animals despite having no legal authority in the nation. The hippos, known as "cocaine hippos," descended from one male and three females imported illegally by drug lord Pablo Escobar in the 1980s.

12/1: Backlash Politics: How State Bans On Critical Race Theory Are a Familiar Sign of Racial Divide - Antoney Bell, McGill University

12/2: Youngkin Wins Big in Virginia; Murphy Barely Holds On In Jersey - Liam Fitzpatrick

12/3: Trump Again Finds Himself in The Courts - Maxwell James

12/6: The Arduous Trial of the Methadone Mile - Moxie Thompson

12/7: Australia's Latest Plans for Climate Change - Michael Yue

12/8: Could Immigration Fix the U.S. Labor Shortage? - Anderson Warshaw

12/9: The Gentrification of Addiction - Allie Baptiste

12/9: Senators Inquire About Federal Student Loan Servicers’ Ability to Resume Repayments - Arlo Hatcher

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tina Smith (D-MN) contacted four federal loan servicers to request the steps they plan to use to facilitate federal student loan repayment resuming on January 31, 2022. The Biden administration responded shortly after and extended the freeze until May 31.

12/11: Boston University Mandates COVID-19 Booster for Spring Semester - Catherine Devlin

12/13: Truth Bound to Hurt With Trump’s New Social Media Empire on the Horizon - Maya Shavit

12/13: Biden’s Build Back Better Act: How Methane is Raising Temperatures in Climate and Congress - Anna Yingst

12/14: Vaccine Rollout in the United States & the United Kingdom - Reed Cory

12/14: Protests over Italy’s Green Pass and the Ascendency of Neo-fascist Parties - Sean Young

12/15: Military Coup Rolls Back Years of Shaky Democratic Progress in Sudan - Dora Betts

12/15: Capture of Colombia’s Most Wanted Drug Trafficker Spurs Predictions for the Future of the Drug Trade - Shandra Beck

12/16: The “Moral Calm” Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children - Sophia Wagner

12/16: Science vs. Civil Liberties: The Legal Battles Over Gene Patenting - Brenda Gonzalez

12/20: Beagle Gate: The Ruff Allegations Against Dr. Fauci and his NIAID Division - Moxie Thompson

12/20: American Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti - Sophie Honary

12/21: Covid-19 Lockdown and Carbon Emissions - Isabelle Fonseca

12/22: Exploring the 2020 Homicide Spike - Erin LeBlanc

While the proximate cause of the murder spike may be multifaceted, it is clear that the intersection of race, violence and the pandemic coincided, resulting in a record-breaking increase in homicide rates in the United States in 2020.

12/23: FDA Gives Green Light for Sale of Certain E-cigarette Products on Market - Ben Klein

12/23: Maskless Mayors and Governors - Jennefer Remigius

12/27: From The Frontline to the Picket Line: Pandemic ‘Heroes’ Revolt - Annie Mayne

12/27: How the Sackler Family Caused the Opioid Crisis - Lea Kapur

12/28: Why are Hate Crimes Rising in the U.S.? - Emanne Khan

12/29: Dissecting Kim Janey’s Tenure as Mayor - Brooke Iglar

12/29: Sines V. Kessler: Putting Hate on Trial - Sebastian Porreca

That's a wrap on our 162 articles from 2021. Thanks for stopping by. You stay classy, Boston.

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